Architecture of Chicago

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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 by the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 (the most famous exception being the Water Tower)[1] Chicago buildings are noted for their originality rather than their antiquity.

Skyscrapers[edit]

Field Museum of Natural History One Museum Park Shedd Aquarium The Columbian Hilton Chicago Renaissance Blackstone Hotel One Financial Place 311 South Wacker Drive Spertus Institute 200 South Wacker Drive Willis Tower Chicago Board of Trade Congress Plaza Hotel 111 South Wacker Drive Franklin Center North Tower Kluczynski Federal Building Auditorium Building Field Building CNA Center Citadel Center Metropolitan Tower Chase Tower Three First National Plaza Santa Fe Building One South Dearborn Mid-Continental Plaza Buckingham Fountain Richard J. Daley Center Legacy Tower University Club of Chicago LaSalle-Wacker Building 300 North LaSalle United Building Pittsfield Building Leo Burnett Building The Heritage at Millennium Park Crain Communications Building Kemper Building Michigan Plaza South One Prudential Plaza Jay Pritzker Pavilion Trump Tower Chicago Two Prudential Plaza Aon Center Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower Aqua 340 on the Park The Buckingham Park Tower The Tides Olympia Centre Outer Drive East The Shoreham John Hancock Center Water Tower Place North Harbor Tower Harbor Point The Parkshore 400 East Ohio Street 401 East Ontario Onterie Center North Pier Apartments Lake Point Tower Navy Pier
The 2010 Chicago skyline as seen from the Adler Planetarium (Use cursor to identify buildings)
The Chicago Building is a prime example of Chicago School architecture.

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 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,[2] 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;[3] these were made possible by professional engineers, in particular E. C. Shankland, and modern contractors, in particular George A. Fuller.

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 from the work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. The ideas of structural engineer Fazlur Khan were also influential in this movement,[4] in particular his introduction of a new structural system of framed tubes in skyscraper design and construction. 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.[5] This laid the foundations for the tube structures of many other later skyscrapers, including his own constructions of the John Hancock Center[6] and Willis Tower (then named the Sears Tower)[7] 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.[8] 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[edit]

St. John Cantius, one of Chicago's 'Polish Cathedrals'
Further information: List of Chicago Landmarks

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. 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[9]—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, The 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, Miró and Abakanowicz that are all to be found outdoors.

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 Frédéric Chopin found in Warsaw's Royal Baths along Chicago's lakefront[10] in addition to a different sculpture commemorating the artist in Chopin Park for the 200th anniversary of Frédéric Chopin's birth.

Residential architecture[edit]

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[11] campus in Chicago influenced the later Modern or International style. Van der Rohe's work is sometimes called the Second Chicago School.

Images[edit]

Timeline of notable buildings[edit]

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
Chicago Board of Trade Building

1900-1939:

1940 to the present:

Styles and schools[edit]

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[edit]

In 2010, Chicago Magazine selected 40 still existing properties for their historical and architectural importance,[15] opening an on-line forum for debate. The top ten chosen were:

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Bach, IraJ. (1980). Chicago’s Famous Buildings. The University of Chicago Press. pp. 106–107. ISBN 0-226-03396-1. LCCN 79-23365. 
  2. ^ Bach (1980), pp. 15.
  3. ^ Bach (1980), pp. 27-28.
  4. ^ Billington 1985, pp 234-235
  5. ^ Alfred Swenson & Pao-Chi Chang (2008). "building construction". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-09. 
  6. ^ Bach (1980), pp. 146-147.
  7. ^ Bach (1980), pp. 97-98.
  8. ^ Ali, Mir M. (2001). "Evolution of Concrete Skyscrapers: from Ingalls to Jin mao". Electronic Journal of Structural Engineering 1 (1): 2–14. Archived from the original on 16 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  9. ^ Bach (1980), pp. 34-37.
  10. ^ "?". 
  11. ^ Bach (1980), pp. 182-183.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y "Chicago Landmarks - Style Guide". City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development. Archived from the original on 25 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  13. ^ Janet L. Whitmore. "Chicago as an Art Nouveau City - Strand 1: Art Nouveau Cities: between cosmopolitanism and local tradition". Art Nouveau European Route : Congress. Retrieved 2014-01-12. 
  14. ^ "Chicago Landmarks - Craftsman". City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development. Archived from the original on 24 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  15. ^ Chicago Magazine Top 40 Buildings in Chicago

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • 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[edit]