Home Insurance Building

Home Insurance Building

Infobox Skyscraper
building_name= Home Insurance Building

built= 1885
use= Office
location= Chicago, USA
roof= 138 feet (42 meters)
top_floor= After addition of the final two floors - 180 feet (54.9 meters)
floor_count= 10 (later 12)
destroyed= 1931
architect= William LeBaron Jenney

The Home Insurance Building was built in 1885 in Chicago, Illinois and demolished in 1931 to make way for the Field Building (now the LaSalle Bank Building). It was the first building to use structural steel in its frame, but the majority of its structure was composed of cast and wrought iron. It was the first tall building to be supported, both inside and outside, by a fireproof metal frame. [ [http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=homeinsurancebuilding-chicago-il-usa Home Insurance Building, Chicago / Emporis.com ] ] Due to the building's unique architecture and unique weight bearing frame, it is considered to be the first skyscraper in the world. It had 10 stories and rose to a height of 138 feet (42 m) high [* [http://www.chicagoarchitecture.info/Building.php?ID=3168 History, narrative, and statistics'] ; Chicago Architecture Info] . In 1890, two additional floors were built on top of the original 10-story building. A forensic analysis done during its demolition purported to show that the building was the first to carry both floors and external walls entirely on its metal frame, but details and later scholarship have largely disproved this, and it has been shown that the structure must have relied upon both metal and masonry elements to support its weight, and to hold it up against wind. Although the Home Insurance Building made full use of steel framing technology, it was not a pure steel-framed structure since it rested partly on granite piers at the base and on a rear brick wall.

The architect was William LeBaron Jenney, an engineer. In fact, the building weighed only one-third as much as a stone building would have; city officials were so concerned that they halted construction while they investigated its safety. The Home Insurance Building is an example of the Chicago School in architecture. The building led to the future in the skyscrapers. “In 1888, a Minneapolis architect named Leroy S. Buffington was granted a patent on the idea of building skeletal-frame tall buildings. He even proposed the construction of a 28-story "stratosphere-scraper"--a notion mocked by the architectural press of the time as impractical and ludicrous.Nevertheless, Buffington brought the potential of the iron skeletal frame to the attention of the national architectural and building communities. Architects and engineers began using the idea, which in primitive form had been around for decades.” [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1200/is_v129/ai_4501450 The first skyscraper - new theory that Home Insurance Building was not the first | Science News | Find Articles at BNET ] ]

The LaSalle Bank Building (former Field Building), where the Home Insurance Building once stood, contains a plaque in the lobby that reads:

:"This section of the Field Building is erected on the site of the Home Insurance Building which structure, designed and built in eighteen hundred and eighty four by the late William LeBaron Jenney, was the first high building to utilize as the basic principle of its design the method known as skeleton construction and, being a primal influence in the acceptance of this principle was the true father of the skyscraper, 1932"


Other References

* [http://www.chipublib.org/004chicago/timeline/skyscraper1.html "1885 First Skyscraper"] ; Chicago Public Library
*Theodore Turak, "William Le Baron Jenney: A Pioneer in Modern Architecture", Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Research Press, 1986
*Carl Condit, "The Chicago School of Architecture", The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 1964

See also

* Chicago architecture

External links

* [http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=102645 Information and Pictures at Emporis] (English)
* [http://www.skyscraperpage.com/cities/?buildingID=10370 Information and Drawings at SkyscraperPage] (English)

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