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Architecture of Chicago

Architecture of Chicago
Willis Tower

The architecture of Chicago has influenced and reflected the history of American architecture. The city of Chicago, Illinois features prominent buildings in a variety of styles by many important architects. Since most buildings within the downtown area were destroyed (the most famous exception being the Water Tower) by the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, Chicago buildings are noted for their originality rather than their antiquity.

Contents

Skyscrapers

311 South Wacker Willis Tower Chicago Board of Trade Building 111 South Wacker AT&T Corporate Center Kluczynski Federal Building CNA Center Chase Tower Three First National Plaza Mid-Continental Plaza Richard J. Daley Center Chicago Title and Trust Center 77 West Wacker Pittsfield Building Leo Burnett Building The Heritage at Millennium Park Smurfit-Stone Building IBM Plaza One Prudential Plaza Two Prudential Plaza Aon Center Blue Cross and Blue Shield Tower 340 on the Park Park Tower Olympia Centre 900 North Michigan John Hancock Center Water Tower Place Harbor Point The Parkshore North Pier Apartments Lake Point Tower Jay Pritzker Pavilion Buckingham Fountain Lake Michigan Lake Michigan Lake MichiganThe skyline of a city with many large skyscrapers; in the foreground are a green park and a lake with many sailboats moored on it. Over 30 of the skyscrapers and some park features are labeled.

Beginning in the early 1880s, architectural pioneers of the Chicago School explored steel-frame construction and, in the 1890s, the use of large areas of plate glass. These were among the first modern skyscrapers. William LeBaron Jenney's Home Insurance Building was completed in 1885 and is often considered to be the first to use steel in its structural frame instead of cast iron, but this building was still clad in heavy brick and stone. However, the Montauk Building, designed by John Wellborn Root Sr. and Daniel Burnham, was built in 1882–1883 using structural steel. Daniel Burnham and his partners, John Welborn Root and Charles Atwood, designed technically advanced steel frames with glass and terra cotta skins in the mid-1890s, in particular the Reliance Building; these were made possible by professional engineers, in particular E. C. Shankland, and modern contractors, in particular George A. Fuller.

The Chicago Building is a prime example of Chicago School architecture.

Louis Sullivan was perhaps the city's most philosophical architect. Realizing that the skyscraper represented a new form of architecture, he discarded historical precedent and designed buildings that emphasized their vertical nature. This new form of architecture, by Jenney, Burnham, Sullivan, and others, became known as the "Commercial Style," but it was called the "Chicago School" by later historians.

In 1892, the Masonic Temple surpassed the New York World Building, breaking its two year reign as the tallest skyscraper, only to be surpassed itself two years later by another New York building.

Since 1963, a "Second Chicago School" emerged, largely due to the ideas of structural engineer Fazlur Khan.[1] He introduced a new structural system of framed tubes in skyscraper design and construction. The Bangladeshi engineer Fazlur Khan defined the framed tube structure as "a three dimensional space structure composed of three, four, or possibly more frames, braced frames, or shear walls, joined at or near their edges to form a vertical tube-like structural system capable of resisting lateral forces in any direction by cantilevering from the foundation."[2] Closely spaced interconnected exterior columns form the tube. Horizontal loads, for example wind, are supported by the structure as a whole. About half the exterior surface is available for windows. Framed tubes allow fewer interior columns, and so create more usable floor space. Where larger openings like garage doors are required, the tube frame must be interrupted, with transfer girders used to maintain structural integrity.

The first building to apply the tube-frame construction was the DeWitt-Chestnut Apartment Building which Khan designed and was completed in Chicago by 1966.[3] This laid the foundations for the tube structures of many other later skyscrapers, including his own constructions of the John Hancock Center and Willis Tower (then named the Sears Tower) in Chicago and can been seen in the construction of the World Trade Center, Petronas Towers, Jin Mao Building, and most other supertall skyscrapers since the 1960s.[4] Willis Tower would be the world's tallest building from its construction in 1974 until 1998 (when the Petronas Towers was built) and would remain the tallest for some categories of buildings until the Burj Khalifa was completed in early 2010.

Landmarks and monuments

Numerous architects have constructed landmark buildings of varying styles in Chicago. Some of these are the so-called "Chicago seven": James Ingo Freed, Tom Beeby, Larry Booth, Stuart Cohen, James Nagle, Stanley Tigerman, and Ben Weese.

St. John Cantius, one of Chicago's 'Polish Cathedrals'

Daniel Burnham led the design of the "White City" of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition which some historians claim led to a revival of Neo-Classical architecture throughout Chicago and the entire United States. It is true that the "White City" represented anything other than its host city's architecture. While Burnham did develop the 1909 "Plan for Chicago", perhaps the first comprehensive city plan in the U.S, in a Neo-Classical style, many of Chicago's most progressive skyscrapers occurred after the Exposition closed, between 1894 and 1899. Louis Sullivan said that the fair set the course of American architecture back by two decades, but even his finest Chicago work, the Schlesinger and Meyer (later Carson, Pirie, Scott) store, was built in 1899—five years after the "White City" and ten years before Burnham's Plan.

Sullivan's comments should be viewed in the context of his complicated relationship with Burnham. Erik Larson's history of the Columbian Exposition, "Devil in the White City" correctly points out[citation needed] that the building techniques developed during the construction of the many buildings of the fair were entirely modern, even if they were adorned in a way Sullivan found aesthetically distasteful.

Chicago is well known for its wealth of public art, including works by such artistic heavyweights as Chagall, Picasso, Miro and Abakanowicz that are all to be found outdoors.

Under City Stone (1972) in Hyde Park by Caryl Yasko is one of the many murals that can be found painted on the viaducts in Chicago.

City sculptures additionally honor the many people and topics reflecting the rich history of Chicago. There are monuments to:

There are also preliminary plans to erect a 1:1-scale replica of Wacław Szymanowski's Art Nouveau statue of Frederic Chopin found in Warsaw's Royal Baths along Chicago's lakefront[5] in addition to a different sculpture commemorating the artist in Chopin Park for the 200th anniversary of Frederic Chopin's birth.

Residential architecture

Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie School influenced both building design and the design of furnishings. In the early half of the 20th century, popular residential neighborhoods were developed with Chicago Bungalow style houses, many of which still exist. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Illinois Institute of Technology campus in Chicago influenced the later Modern or International style. Van der Rohe's work is sometimes called the Second Chicago School.

Images

Timeline of notable buildings

Before 1900:

Chicago Avenue Pumping Station
Chicago's Home Insurance Building is regarded as the world's first modern steel–framed skyscraper.
The Manhattan Building (right) on South Dearborn Street
The Chicago Merchandise Mart
Marina City from across the river
John Hancock

1900-1939:

1940 to the present:

Styles and schools

Chicago architects used many design styles and belonged to a variety of architectural schools. Below is a list of those styles and schools.

Buildings - a "Top Forty" List

In 2010, Chicago Magazine selected 40 still existing properties for their historical and architectural importance,[8] opening an on-line forum for debate. The top ten chosen, from number 10 to number 1, were:

233 S. Wacker Dr. (1974)

  • 9: Farnsworth House (Plano, Illinois)

14520 River Rd., Plano, IL (1951)

  • 8: Frederick C. Robie House

5757 S. Woodlawn Ave. (1909)

430 S. Michigan Ave. (1889)

3360 S. State St. (1956)

1 S. State St. (1899)

53 W. Jackson Blvd. (1891 and 1893)

(1952)

209 S. LaSalle St. (1885–1888}

875 N. Michigan Ave. (1969)


See also

Notes

References

Further reading

  • Pridmore, Jay and George A. Larson, Chicago Architecture and Design : Revised and expanded, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, 2005. ISBN 0-8109-5892-9.

External links


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