Solon S. Beman
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Solon Spencer Beman (1853-1914) began his architectural training in the office of renowned New York architect Richard Upjohn, where he helped design the Connecticut State Capitol. He came to Chicago in 1879, at the request of railroad car magnate George Pullman, to design what would become the nation's first planned company town. Located on the city's Far South Side, the Pullman project included more than 1,300 houses, a factory, monumental water tower, theater, church, hotel, market, and schools. Beman's associate on the project was landscape architect Nathan F. Barrett.
Beman's other projects in Chicago included several buildings at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 (demolished); the Grand Central Station and train shed at Harrison and Wells (1891; demolished); the Kimball mansion in the Prairie Avenue District; the Blackstone Public Library in Hyde Park; and the First Church of Christ, Scientist, at 4017 S. Drexel Blvd. He also designed at least a dozen other Christian Scientist churches across the country, as well as the Procter and Gamble factories in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Studebaker plant in South Bend, Ind., and the Pabst Building in Milwaukee, Wis.