This building, now defunct, is considered the first skyscraper in history. It is true that it only had 10 floors and was 42 meters high. Although five years later it grew to 12 heights. However, these dimensions may seem small to us today, because why does a building have to exceed 30 floors to be considered a skyscraper.
Chicago Home Insurance Building
But keep in mind that the Home Insurance Building in Chicago was built in 1885, and without this construction it would be unlikely that giants like the mythical Empire State would have been built later Island Building of Manhattan or the attractive Willis Towers in the city of Chicago.
The work followed the project of the architect William Le Baron Jenney, who together with Louis Sullivan are two of the eminences of the known as the School of Chicago, where such emblematic buildings as the Carson Department Store were built. A type of construction closely linked to the historical and technological moment that was being experienced. A period of demographic increase, where the land of the cities was becoming a very expensive commodity. At the same time, interesting properties of materials such as work were being discovered and inventions such as the elevator appeared. In this context, this type ofsuch novel architecture.
The great merit of the Home Insurance Building is that it was built using structural steel. That was the real milestone in architecture, because you have to keep in mind that when this building was built it wasn't even the tallest building in Chicago, but the use of that material is what made it different and innovative. Although it was combined with the use of wrought iron and also cast. While for its exterior appearance, brick and large windows were used, which gave rise to the “Chicago Windows” fashion.
The architect said that for his facade he was inspired by the shape of a classical column. Not regarding its cylindrical shape, since we are dealing with a construction with a rectangular floor plan, but regarding its division into three parts. And it is that along the facade we can make an assimilation with what the base, the shaft and the capital of a column are, in fact the cornices as well as the capitals are the most ornate part. While its two lower floors use padded stone, which gives it the idea of a base and robustness. Which softens a lot on the following floors, with that interlocking set of bricks and numerous windows.
An authentic architectural gem, which did not prevent it from being demolished in 1931.