John Augur Holabird

John Augur Holabird (18861945) was a significant United States architect based in Chicago.


Born on May 4, 1886, the day of Chicago's Haymarket Riot, he was the son of architect William Holabird. John Holabird trained as an engineer, graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1907, with further study at the Washington Barracks Engineers School in 1909.

By 1913, he had completed study at Paris' École des Beaux-Arts, where he became friends with John Wellborn Root, Jr., the son of another famous Chicago architect. Holabird's father had formed the architectural firm Holabird & Roche in Chicago in 1883, and the younger Holabird joined the firm in 1914. Following the deaths of William Holabird and Martin Roche in the late 1920s, John Holabird and John Wellborn Root, Jr., who had also joined the firm in 1914, became the name partners of Holabird & Root.

The firm became known for buildings in the Art Deco style, particularly Chicago skyscrapers, including 333 North Michigan Avenue, the Palmolive Building, the Chicago Daily News Building, the Chicago Board of Trade, and the Henry Crown Field House, as well as the North Dakota State Capitol.

The firm weathered the Depression and is still active. Holabird died just as victory was declared in Europe for World War II. His nephew, Bill Holabird, was named a partner in the firm in 1945, and John A. Holabird, Jr., became a partner in 1970.


Holabird was a member of the Chicago Planning Commission, a trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a designer of the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago (1933–34). Holabird served on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts from 1976 to 1980.[1] The Chicago History Museum houses collections of both Holabird & Roche and Holabird & Root. In 1937, Holabird was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member and became a full Academician in 1944.

Significant buildings


Bruegmann, Robert. Holabird & Roche/Holabird & Root: An Illustrated Catalog of Works, 1880–1940. New York: Garland Publishing, 1991.


  1. Thomas E. Luebke, ed., Civic Art: A Centennial History of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, 2013): Appendix B, p. 546.

External links

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