Rockefeller Building photograph   Save
Rockefeller Building photograph
Description: This photograph shows the Rockefeller Building, a 17-story office building erected by John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) between 1903 and 1905. The view is of the front entrance. A lone male pedestrian is walking past the building. Designed by Know and Elliot, the Rockefeller Building exemplifies the "Sullivanesque" style as it resembles to Louis Sullivan's Guaranty Building in Buffalo, New York. The historic Weddell House hotel built in 1847 previously stood on the site, which is at the corner of Superior and West 6th Street. The Rockefeller Building was rented to businesses involved in iron, coal, and lake-shipping industries. The original structure consisted of seven bays along Superior Avenue, and in 1910 an additional four bays in the same design were added to the west side. Josiah Kirby bought the building in 1920 and changed its name to the Kirby Building. Rockefeller was angered by the change and bought the building back, restoring the name in 1923. Rockefeller moved to the Cleveland area with his family at age fourteen. He ventured into the oil business in 1863. During the 1870s and 1880s, Rockefeller sought to expand Standard Oil's influence. The company began to purchase or drive oil refiners out of business across the United States. By 1878, Standard Oil purportedly controlled ninety percent of the oil refineries in the United States. In 1881 the Standard Oil Company became known as the Standard Oil Trust. In essence, the Standard Oil Company created various companies across the United States that were purportedly their own entities. In reality, Rockefeller directed all of these businesses. Rockefeller was alive during the government's attack on Standard Oil, but he had retired from the company in 1895, well before the dispute ended. In 1901, his wealth was estimated at $900 million, making him the wealthiest man in the world. He dedicated the remainder of his life to philanthropic efforts. He used his wealth to establish the University of Chicago in 1892 and the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in 1901. Rockefeller also was a driving force behind the preservation of Williamsburg, Virginia, as an historic landmark. He donated funds to innumerable other charities through the Rockefeller Foundation. John Rockefeller died in 1937 at Ormond Beach, Florida. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: AL06619
Subjects: Rockefeller, John D. (John Davison), 1839-1937; Buildings; Cities and towns--Ohio.; Cleveland (Ohio)--Buildings, structures, etc.
Places: Cleveland (Ohio); Cuyahoga County (Ohio)