Ornamental Metal Designer in Chicago
Henry Trost was in Chicago from 1888 to 1896. He was a ornamental metal designer and an member of the Chicago Sketch Club, which in 1895 became the Chicago Architectural Club. The C.A.S.C. was organized in 1885 and operated like a professional school of architecture. There were competitions. exhibitions, sketching sessions and lectures on the “practical and artistic” aspects of architecture.
Henry became a member of the Chicago Sketch Club by November 1888. Henry’s initiation sketch, a requirement for membership, was chosen for publication in The Building Budget;a Journal of Architecture and Kinderd. The design was the “Wrot iron Gate” submitted under the name of “Smithy.” It was awarded a second prize on February 25, 1889. Louis H. Sullivan(1854-1924) was one of the members on the panel judging the event. Trost’s design consisted of a two-part gate, suspended between massive stone posts, and dominated by bold spiraling curves and curving hook-like forms.
The lectures given at the C.A.S.C. were only reserved for the honorary members who were established and well known architects. Henry’s standing provided him the opportunity to give the lecture entitled
” Artistic Metal Work,” before a group on February 10, 1890. It is also known that Trost attended one C.A.S.C. meeting during which Sullivan spoke briefly about drawing. In addition to that meeting, Trost might of attended or read the published statement from the lecture called “Style” given by Sullivan. Trost used this belief that an architect designs for a specific environment.
Henry began an ornamental metal firm with a fellow member of the C.A.C.S.,Emil Seeman in 1889. The firm, was known as the American Art Metal Works. The firm only last about a year and Seeman went to work in the offices of Adler & Sullivan.
Henry served as a designer for the Chicago Ornamental Iron Company from 1892 to 1896. He first served as vice president and in latter became the president. There are two distinctive times in the Chicago Ornamental Iron Company that Trost can be singled out . The first is an advertisement in 1892, which ‘H.C. Trost Del’ appears in the right corner. The second time is an order for ornamental metal in Lafayette Square Opera House in Washington D.C., it was later know as Belasco Theater. The Chicago Ornamental Iron Company provided metal railings for staircases and metal banisters for boxes and balconies in the opera house. The designed was done by Henry Trost.
Henry left Chicago in 1897. He move to Colorado Spring with his sister Louise.