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Skyscrapers

Early American SkyscrapersCreated by: PICRYLDated: 2017
Tribune building chicago skyscrapers.
In 1857 Elisha Otis introduced the safety elevator, allowing easy passenger access to upper floors. A crucial development was also the use of a steel frame instead of stone or brick. An early development in this area was five floors high Oriel Chambers in Liverpool, England. While its height is not considered very impressive today, the world's first skyscraper was the ten-story Home Insurance Building in Chicago, built in 1884–1885.
Most early skyscrapers emerged in the land-strapped areas of Chicago and New York City toward the end of the 19th century. In a building like these, a steel frame supported the entire weight of the walls, instead of walls carrying the weight called "Chicago skeleton" construction.
1889 marks the first all-steel framed skyscraper in Chicago, while Louis Sullivan's Wainwright Building in St. Louis, Missouri, 1891, was the first steel-framed building with vertical bands to emphasize the height of the building and is therefore considered by some to be the first true skyscraper.
After an early competition between Chicago and New York City for the world's tallest building, New York took the lead by 1895 with the completion of the American Surety Building, leaving New York with the title of the world's tallest building for many years. New York City developers competed among themselves, with successively taller buildings claiming the title of "world's tallest" in the 1920s and early 1930s, culminating with the completion of the Chrysler Building in 1930 and the Empire State Building in 1931, the world's tallest building for forty years.
1857
1857
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2013
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2013
716 Media in collectionpage 1 of 8
[Tribune Building, New York City] / S. A. Holmes, New York.

[Tribune Building, New York City] / S. A. Holmes, New York.

Title devised by Library staff. RG 859 Sr. 3 Box 5. Gift; American Institute of Architects / American Architectural Foundation; 2010; (DLC/PP-2010:100) Forms part of: The AIA/AAF Collection (Library of Congress... more

Market Street, San Francisco

Market Street, San Francisco

Photograph shows the Call Building, currently named Central Tower, Market Street, San Francisco, with people, trolleys, and horse-drawn wagons on the street. Title from item.

The Auditorium and annex, Chicago

The Auditorium and annex, Chicago

Copyright 1900 by Detroit Photographic Co. Title from item. Similar image (LC-D4-12620). Note for similar image in (LC-D4-12620): Auditorium Building and Congress Hotel and Annex, later part of Roosevelt Univer... more

Election night illumination, Flatiron Building

Election night illumination, Flatiron Building

Print shows people strolling in front of the Flatiron Building, which has lights in every window and a searchlight on the roof. 18606 U.S. Copyright Office. Title from item. Printed on verso: "Compliments of N.... more

Forty Second Street, looking west, N.Y. City

Forty Second Street, looking west, N.Y. City

Print shows people walking on sidewalks, a trolley on the street with buildings on one side and a park on the other side, and a skyscraper in the distance.