Zachary Taylor Davis

Zachary Taylor Davis

Zachary Taylor Davis (May 26 1872, Aurora, IllinoisDecember 16 1946, Chicago, Illinois) was the architect of several major Chicago buildings, including Old Comiskey Park (1910), Wrigley Field (1914), Mount Carmel High School(1924), and St. James Chapel of Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary (1918).


Davis graduated from the Armour Institute of Technology (now the Illinois Institute of Technology). He began his career working as a draftsman for Louis Sullivan, along with Frank Lloyd Wright.

In 1909, he designed the Kankakee County courthouse. [ [ Kankakee County Bar Association] , retrieved 01/10/07] A year later, he was hired by Charles Comiskey to design Comiskey Park for the Chicago White Sox. To prepare for the project, Davis toured ballparks around the country with White Sox pitcher Ed Walsh. [ [ Ballparks of Baseball: Comiskey Park] , retrieved 01/10/07] In 1914, he designed Weeghman Park for the Chicago Whales, a park which would later become Wrigley Field.

Like other South Side Chicagoans, he quietly worked at his home at 45th and Drexel in Kenwood, Chicago. He was so quiet that one family member has referred to him as "the most significant lost architect in Chicago."Fact|date=February 2007

Davis's wife was named Alma, and she predeceased him. ["Chicago Tribune", December 17, 1946] Their oldest son, Zachary Taylor Davis II, was born in 1898. He worked as a salesman for Monsanto and died of a heart attack on August 11, 1938 at his home in Evanston, Illinois. The younger Davis was survived by his wife, Mary (nee Ryan) and seven year old son, Zachary Taylor Davis III. ["Chicago Tribune", August 12, 1938]

Davis and Alma also had two other sons, David and Lawrence, and a daughter, Mary Louise, who married Charles Allison.


Known as the "Frank Lloyd Wright of baseball,"Fact|date=February 2007 Davis was one of the first architects to design ballparks with innovative steel-beam and concrete construction [ [ Places of Assembly] , by Paula R. Lupkin, "Encyclopedia of Chicago", retrieved 01/10/07] . Prior to his design of Comiskey Park, Chicago ballparks were wooden structures with minimal capital investment. This allowed both Chicago teams to move frequently, and also meant that demolition of the old parks was inexpensive. Davis's designs and their more solid construction ended this trend in Chicago.

When Comiskey Park needed to be expanded, in part to accommodate fans of the visiting Babe Ruth, Davis oversaw the renovations. He also oversaw expansion of Wrigley Field in 1922. ["Chicago Tribune", November 9, 1922]


External links

* [ Friends of the Windows at St. James Chapel]

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