Essential Architecture-  Chicago Loop North

860-880 Lake Shore Drive


Ludwig Mies van der Rohe


860-880 Lake Shore Dr.




International Style 




Apartment Building
Deceptively simple in appearance, these twin apartment towers set the standard by which all subsequent glass-and-steel highrises are judged. Few, if any, have come even close to these buildings' perfection in form, proportions, and detailing. No other design by this world-famous architect had so immediate or so strong an impact. They are featured in every book on modern architecture, and they are among the best known of the city's post-World War II architecture.

860–880 Lake Shore Drive is a twin pair of glass-and-steel apartment towers on Lakeshore Drive in Chicago, Illinois. The 26 floor, 82 m tall towers were designed by the famous architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and dubbed the "Glass House" apartments. Construction was by the renowned Chicago real estate developer Herbert Greenwald. The design principles first expressed in 860-880 Lake Shore Drive were copied extensively, and are now considered characteristic of the modern "international style".

They were finished in 1951 and were featured in a 1957 article in Life magazine on Mies.

In 1996 they became the first buildings designed by Mies van der Rohe to receive Chicago Landmark Status.


With special thanks to the City of Chicago website, , for much of the info on this page.
Photos copyright City of Chicago.