firm active: 1907-1921
minneapolis, minnesota :: chicago, illinois
Parker Berry was a drafter, later independent architect, who rose to well-merited prominence in the Sullivan office after the departure of George Elmslie. Talented and creative, his work showed immense promise cut short by his untimely death at age thirty from influenza. Although Parker did not come to work for the firm, he is included here because his strongly expressed interest doing so shows the high esteem in which the P&E office was held and reflects a motivation common among those who sought employment there. It is tantalizing to speculate what he might have achieved within the context of the P&E office under the mentorship of George Elmslie, whom he clearly admired and respected.
In 1911, moved by both professional and personal reasons, Parker Berry entered into correspondence with Purcell, Feick, & Elmslie about leaving his employment with Louis Sullivan in Chicago and coming to work for the firm in Minneapolis. Both Purcell and Elmslie encouraged this change as much as they could without the unseemly appearance of poaching an able body from Sullivan. In the end, Sullivan appears to have trumped by offering a scope of professional opportunity greater than Parker would have likely been able to exercise with P&E.