Richard NickelRichard Nickel
(May 31, 1928–Apr. 13, 1972)

Noted architectural photographer Richard Nickel ironically died in Louis Sullivan’s Stock Exchange building, then under demolition. Nickel spent over 20 years cataloging and collecting the works of Sullivan and other building designers – measuring and photographing Sullivan buildings. He set up his camera about the time buildings were coming down, and he returned to sites at night to salvage decorative bits and pieces he could carry off – terra cotta, stone, metal castings. Through his efforts we have a much better record of some of the greatest buildings in Chicago architectural history.

photo and text by Joe Collier