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For the record

  • Who: Home Insurance Building

  • What: First skyscraper

  • Where: United States

The world’s first skyscraper was the Home Insurance Building in Chicago, erected in 1884-1885. The so-called “Father of the Skyscraper” towered all of 10 stories with its peak at 138 feet, miniature by today’s standards but gargantuan at that time. The architect, Major William LeBaron Jenney, incorporated a steel frame that supported not only the walls but the great weight of the entire building. The exterior, however, was made of brick. This technique spawned a new type of construction referred to as the “Chicago Skeleton.” The landmark building did not last…it was demolished in 1931 which was ironically, the year that The Empire State Building in New York was completed.

 

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