Tacoma Building (Chicago)

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Tacoma Building (the tall building in the centre). Stereoscopic view by Benjamin W. Kilburn
Tacoma Building, 1892

The Tacoma Building wass an early skyscraper in Chicago. Completed in 1889, it was the first major building designed by the architectural firm Holabird & Roche. The Tacoma Building was demolished in 1929 to be replaced by One North LaSalle.[1]

A pioneering building of the Chicago School, it uses a framework of iron and steel constructed by George A. Fuller with, for the first time, all its members fixed together by rivets. While internally still supported by load-bearing walls, the two facades towards LaSalle Street and Madison Street are true curtain walls.[2] With this, Holabird & Roche's structure went beyond William LeBaron Jenney's solution for his Home Insurance Building.

After investigating the lost Chicago landmark, the National Association of Building Owners and Managers diagnosed the cause of its obsolescence to be the building's inefficient layout.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Copper Country Architects
  2. ^ Leland M. Roth, in: Joan Marter (Ed.), The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art, Oxford University Press 2011, p. 528 (s.v. Holabird & Roche)
  3. ^ Abramson, Daniel (2012). "From Obsolescence to Sustainability, Back Again, and Beyond". Design and Culture. 4 (3): 279–298.


  • Blaser, Werner. Chicago Architecture: Holabird & Root, 1880-1992. Basel; Boston: Birkhauser Verlag, 1992.
  • Bruegmann, Robert. Holabird & Roche/Holabird & Root: An Illustrated Catalog of Works, 1880-1940. New York: Garland Publishing, 1991.
  • Bruegmann, Robert. The Architects and the City: Holabird & Roche of Chicago, 1880-1918. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.

Coordinates: 41°52′55″N 87°37′56″W / 41.8820°N 87.6321°W / 41.8820; -87.6321