Daniel Burnham was an urban planner and architect who oversaw the design of Chicago's 1893 World's Fair and wrote the 1909 Plan for Chicago. He also designed New York's Flatiron Building, the Dime Building in Detroit, and Union Station in Washington DC.
He also planned the urban architectural future for Cleveland, Manilla, Washington DC, and San Francisco, work which is now seen as the beginning of modern city planning. Burnham Park on Chicago's Lake Michigan shore is named in his honor.
Unable to attend college, Burnham worked as a salesman, then prospected for gold in Nevada, before going to work as an apprentice draftsman in a Chicago architect's office. He befriended another draftsman, John W. Root, and in the construction rush after the Chicago Fire, they formed a new architectural agency called Burnham and Root. Their Montauk Building in Chicago, built in 1882 and torn down in 1902, was one of the first buildings described as a "skyscraper" -- ten stories tall, built of a daring steel-frame construction. In 1892 Burnham constructed the Masonic Temple Building, 22 stories rising 302 feet, which for two years was the tallest building in the world.