John Wellborn Root (January 10, 1850 – January 15, 1891) was a significant American architect who worked out of Chicago with Daniel Burnham. He was one of the founders of the Chicago School style. One of his buildings was designated a National Historic Landmark; others have been designated Chicago landmarks and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Early years and education
John Wellborn Root was born in 1850 in Lumpkin, Georgia, the son of Sidney Root and his wife. He was named after a maternal uncle, Marshall Johnson Wellborn. Root was raised in Atlanta, where he was homeschooled. When Atlanta fell to the Union during the American Civil War, Root’s family migrated to Liverpool, England.
While in Liverpool, Root studied at Clare Mount School. His later design work was said to have been influenced by the pioneering work of Liverpool architect Peter Ellis, who designed and built the world’s first two metal frames glass curtain walled buildings, Oriel Chambers, 1864, and 16 Cook Street, 1866.
After Root returned to the U.S., he earned an undergraduate degree from New York University in 1869. After graduation, he took a job with the architect James Renwick, Jr. of Renwick and Sands of New York as an unpaid apprentice. Later he took a position with [[John Butler Snook] in New York. While working for Snook, Root was a construction supervisor on New York City’s Grand Central Station.
Chicago and career
In 1871 Root moved to Chicago, where he was employed as a draftsman in an architectural firm. There he met Daniel Burnham. Two years later in 1873, they formed the firm of Burnham and Root; they worked together for 18 years. During the economic downturn in 1873, Root earned extra income on jobs with other firms and as the organist at the First Presbyterian Church.
Grannis Block (1880)
Montauk Building (1882-1883)
Rookery Building (1885), National Historic Landmark (NHL)
Phenix Building (1887)
Lake View Presbyterian Church (1888) 
Monadnock Building (1889), National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)
Reliance Building (1889), ground floor only–featured large display windows which set a new standard, NHL
referenced from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wellborn_Root