Towers and Kingdoms

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Louis Sullivan developed a fresh way of approaching architecture. Born on this day in Boston in 1856, he studied architecture briefly but, impatient and independent, opted to work for other architectural firms in the US and Europe. Gradually he honed his concepts, and gained experience.

In 1895, Sullivan began his own company. He was committed to establishing an authentic style. But not everyone agreed with his ideas, discovering that his personality could be irritating. One colleague said he “could be arrogant and unnecessarily decisive.” He lost jobs because he would not compromise.

One key philosophical principle was that “form follows function.” He believed that architecture must be consistent with the environment in which it was based, thinking about its specific function.

It has been said that Sullivan was the first American architect to think consciously of the relationship between architecture and civilization.

These ideas combined to inspire Sullivan to develop the concept of the skyscraper. In fact, he became known as its “father,” particularly developing landmark concepts for buildings in Chicago.

Today, his designs are admired and studied for their innovations. But when he died (in 1924), he was penniless and largely forgotten.

Sullivan’s skyscrapers remind us of the tower built by ancient men in Babel. Their goal was to become famous. To call attention to their accomplishments. To exalt themselves. But God was not pleased and scattered them.

The Bible reminds us that God hates pride (Proverbs 8:13). That “whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted” (Matthew 23:12).

Make it your priority not to build monuments to yourself, but to serve God and build His Kingdom. Be sure He is pleased with your life.