Since I saw a copy of it, I always admired the proportions of the windows, and though being in Chicago a few times, never sought it out. So seeing the Holabird & Roche’ Marquette building walking down Adams, was a treat. Here directly north of the Mies van der Rohe super modern complex, is the very grounded 1895 skyscraper. This building was during the era that Adler and Sullivan were creating their own world in Chicago, with Wright emerging and in Europe the Art Nouveau/Jugendstil style beginning to make their mark. This twenty story building, with its ornate upper cornice and interesting proportions predates the very stylistic work of Mackintosh.
From what I could see, it is very classical in proportion, with a certain historic quotation in the three columns dead center, and the perfect symmetry. The interesting part is the horizontality of the windows, which would make the building like so many slices on bread, one story atop another. The window opening, except for the entrance are very horizontal. Compare to the Federal complex structure across the street designed by van der Rohe (above), where window openings are often strictly repeated.
Throughout the building the treatment of window openings vary. The first three stories have very subtle changes (left), which repeat after the third story, but are striking in some ways to Otto Wagner’s Majolica House (right), where window openings and terrace doors appear identical in size and proportion.