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Chicago Music History: Bush Temple of Music

There was a time when Chicago was the worldwide leading manufacturer of pianos, but that’s another story. Most of the piano companies in Chicago have become remnants of the past , however, one building still remains. The Bush Temple of Music has been in Chicago for over a century, and in that time it accumulated enough history to earn accommodations that ensures its preservation.
The building itself was the result of the campaign of two main men, William Lincoln Bush and John Gerts. The duo had been in cahoots during the late 1800’s, successfully selling pianos and later on joined forces with Bush’s father to start their own organization. Fast Forward a few years later to 1899 when W.H. Bush & Company became the newly incorporated Bush & Gerts Piano Co.. Because Bush was savvy on the arts and also the ultimate hustler of his day, he was able to build branches outside of Chicago, reaching as far as Texas and New England. Now making up to 6,000 pianos annually, and incorporating arts programs annexed to the branches, it was time for Bush to establish his school and company on paper.
In 1901 the Bush Temple of Music was built and christened on 100 West Chicago Avenue and 800 North Clark. Bush hired the best of the best to teach the disciplines of piano, violin, and other instruments while peddling pianos on the showroom floor.
The building became an official Chicago Landmark on June, 27th, 2001. Though Bush had brought the best of Western Music to Chicago for a piece of time. It was because of the building’s architectural style that landed it a preservation pass. John E.O. Pridmore , the architect of the Bush Temple of Music, used a style called French Renaissance Revival, making the building an architectural anomaly in the city. Last Summer saw the conversation of restoration to the building , that is rumored to be in critical condition. Special thanks to the Fitzgerald and Associates Architect firm for picking up the pieces. The art history involving the Bush Temple of Music may not hinder to you. However, just to view the magnificent structure is another reason Chicagoans should salute the Bush Temple of Music. To find out more about the Bush Temple of Music and Chicago history please click on the links below.

The Bush Temple of Music is a historic landmark in the city of Chicago
Photograph by Marcus Dayton Bailey http://

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