A type of design for a multistory commercial building often associated with the work of Louis Sullivan. The building’s facade is characterized by three major divisions: a base, consisting of the lower three stories; a cap, of one to three stories; and a shaft, consisting of the floors between the base and the cap.
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A type of design for a multistory commercial building, often associated with the work of Louis H. Sullivan (1856–1924). The building’s façade is characterized by three principal divisions: a base consisting of the lowest two or three stories of the building; a cap, consisting of one to four stories, at the top of the building, and a shaft, consisting of the floors between the base and the cap. Such a building has a flat roof, projecting eaves, imposing arched or round-topped windows, vertical strips of windows separated by massive mullions, and massive arched doorways. In Sullivan’s designs, the decorative elements typically consist of highly ornate friezes with interwoven foliated designs in low relief (particularly in terra-cotta) that usually appear in spandrels, 1 and over entrances. See Sullivanesque.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.