He attended schools there and in New York, and after completing his studies at City College.
After completing his studies at City College, began architectural training with his brother's firm in Chicago, Burnham & Root. In 1886 he was sent to Kansas City to superintend the erection of the Board of Trade Building, and following its completion remained in the city the rest of his life. For a few years he practiced independently and did a large amount of work, mainly commercial and residential, also designed the Cass County Court House at Harrisonville, Mo.
In 1896 Mr. Root entered into partnership with George M. Siemens (Root & Siemens) and over a period of thirty years was active in the planning and execution of more than six hundred building operations, including all types of structures. Among the most important of these was the New England Office Building; Santa Fe Railroad Office Building (1912) and the Grace Episcopal Cathedral (1916) all in Topeka, Kansas; ten buildings at St. Mary's College, St. Mary's, Kans., Natural History Museum, Lawrence, Kans., and in Kansas City, Mo., the Scarrit Office Building, completed in 1907, where the firm established headquarters; Postal Telegraph Building (1908); General Hospital, and also many stores, warehouses and residences.