Robert Seyfarth was an American architect based in Chicago, Illinois. He spent the years of his professional career working for the noted Prairie School architect George Washington Maher. A member of the influential Chicago Architectural Club, Seyfarth was a product of the Chicago School of Architecture, the ideals this architecture sought to express were the very ones the most inventive Chicago architects were trying to embody in their own work - order, harmony, and repose. As a result, the conception of architecture was anything. “Architects and critics engaged in debates concerning the definition of modern architecture. This discourse reflected the development of diverse ideologies and forms that ranged from Beaux-Arts classicism to streamlining. Delano argued that if a project was “handled with freedom and. answered the needs of our present day clients, it will be really expressive of our own time”. Seyfarth opted to take his career down this divergent path, and his grandfather William Seyfarth had come to the United States in 1848 from Schloss Tonndorf in what is now the state of Thuringia, Germany, with the intention of opening a tavern in Chicago. William purchased a building that was standing at the south-west corner of Grove Street and Western Avenue and opened his business. The location was a good one - it was on what was called the Wabash Road a days journey from Chicago. At about the time he purchased a stone quarry about a mile south-west of the settlement and operated it concurrently with the inn. He was a member of the board when Blue Island built its first brick schoolhouse in 1856. William and Louise had five sons, including Edward, who was the father of the architect, Edward Seyfarth was active in community affairs on many levels. He served as treasurer from 1880–1886 and as village trustee from 1886–1889. Charles A. Seyfarth was one of the members of the Blue Island Elks in 1916. Andreas had called. a quiet, though one among the prettiest little suburban towns in the West and it was in this atmosphere that Seyfarth grew up, attended primary school, married his first wife Nell Martin, and built their first home. The club, which was founded in 1877, was a group of the citys most influential leaders that included Marshall Field, George Pullman, Edson Keith, Cyrus McCormick and George Armour. Chicago Manual Training School was a secondary school and was designed to graduate its students three years from the time they entered
August Fiedler (1843-1903)
George Washington Maher (1864-1926)
This chart depicts the professional relationships through employment and mentorship over several generations that helped to shape the architectural philosophy of Robert Seyfarth. Anyone with even a passing interest in the architectural history of the United States will immediately recognize many of the individuals whose names are included here - names that constitute a list of many of America's most distinguished architects and innovative thinkers of the 19th and early 20th Centuries.