Manhattan Building (Chicago, Illinois)

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Manhattan Bidon Building
2010-03-03 2000x3000 chicago manhattan building.jpg
Manhattan Building at the northeast corner of Dearborn St. and Ida B. Wells Drive.
LocationChicago, Illinois
Coordinates41°52′33″N 87°37′45″W / 41.87583°N 87.62917°W / 41.87583; -87.62917Coordinates: 41°52′33″N 87°37′45″W / 41.87583°N 87.62917°W / 41.87583; -87.62917
ArchitectWilliam LeBaron Jenney
Architectural styleSkyscraper
NRHP reference #76000697 [1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPMarch 16, 1976
Designated CLJuly 7, 1978
The Manhattan Building anchors an impressive row of historic skyscrapers along South Dearborn Street

The Manhattan Building is a 16-story building at 431 South Dearborn Street in Chicago, Illinois. It was designed by architect William Le Baron Jenney and constructed from 1889 to 1891.[2] It is the oldest surviving skyscraper in the world to use a purely skeletal supporting structure.[3] The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 16, 1976, and designated a Chicago Landmark on July 7, 1978.[4]

Looking south along South Dearborn Street


The distinctive bow windows provide light into the building's interior spaces, and the combination of a granite facade for the lower floors and brick facade for the upper stories helps lighten the load placed on the internal steel framework.[4] The north and south walls of tile are supported on steel cantilevers that carry the load back to the internal supporting structure.

The versatility and strength of metal frame construction made the skyscraper possible, as evidenced by this structure, which reached the then-astounding height of 16 stories in 1891. Its architect was a pioneer in the development of tall buildings.

Facade Detail
Window Detail
Window Detail


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 15, 2006.
  2. ^ Manhattan Building. Archived 2007-02-03 at the Wayback Machine Chicago Landmarks (URL accessed 9 July 2006).
  3. ^ Manhattan Building, Chicago. Emporis Buildings (URL accessed 9 July 2006).Manhattan Building, 431 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Cook County, IL. American Memory from the Library of Congress (URL accessed 9 July 2006).
  4. ^ a b "Manhattan Building". Archived from the original on February 3, 2007. Retrieved March 2, 2007.

See also[edit]