The home in the city's Lakeview section was believed to be the last of Sullivan's wood-frame houses, the Web site Chicagoist said. Two Sullivan buildings were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina last year.
The multiple-alarm blaze was reported at about 2 a.m., WMAQ-TV said. Firefighters said that by the time they arrived the entire building was burning, and the blaze threatened to spread to its neighbors.
The cause is under investigation.
The house, which had been empty for some time, was involved in a dispute between the current owner, who wanted to tear it down and replace it with condos, and preservationists who wanted it declared a landmark.
This was the third Sullivan building in Chicago to burn this year. The Pilgrim Baptist Church may be salvageable, but the Wirt Dexter Building, which was gutted last month, has been demolished.
Sullivan, who worked in Chicago, was best-known as a pioneer in the design of steel-frame high-rise buildings.