John Wellborn Root

  • American

John Wellborn Root (1850-1891) was born and educated in Georgia. During the American Civil War, Root was taken to England and while in residence there attended Oxford University. On returning to the United States in 1866, Root entered City College of New York, where he received his basic architectural and engineering training. Root was employed within the offices of Renwick and Sands and remained there for approximately one year. In 1871, following the devastating Chicago fire, which destroyed much of the city, Root went to Chicago, summoned by architect Peter Wight, who had recently become junior partner of the firm of Carter, Drake and Wight. Wight installed Root within the drafting department. It was there that Root met Daniel Hudson Burnham (1846-1912) and in 1873, these two men formed one of the greatest partnerships in the history of modern architecture. Although their early years were lean, the firm gradually acquired various important commissions. Root, serving as chief designer of the firm, was primarily responsible for much of the firm's originality in building design and function. - NRHP Registration

Notable Position Organization From To
Apprentice Renwick and Sands 1869
Principal Burnham and Root 1873 1891



Y/M/D Description Association Composition Place Locale Food Event
Y/M/D Description Association Composition Place Locale Food Event
Architect William Chick Scarritt House Kansas City, MO
Architect Sydney Kent House Chicago
1850/01/10 Born
1872/01/00 Root moves to Chicago to work for architect Peter Wight Architect
1873/00/00 John Root and Daniel Burnham form a partnership Designer
1885/00/00 Montezuma Castle built, used as a hotel until 31 October 1903 Architect Montezuma Hotel Complex Montezuma
1891/00/00 Built Architect Keokuk Union Depot Keokuk
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