Essential Architecture-  Chicago Loop South

Manhattan Building


William Le Baron Jenney


431 S. Dearborn St.




early Chicago School 


steel frame, granite (lower three floors) and brick facade (upper stories). 16 floors
It is the oldest surviving skyscraper in the world to use a purely skeletal supporting structure, the north and south walls of tile being supported on steel cantilevers that carry the load back to the internal supporting structure.


Office Building
The versatility and strength of metal frame construction made the skyscraper possible, as evidenced by this structure, which reached the then-astounding height of 16 stories in 1891. Its architect was a pioneer in the development of tall buildings. The distinctive bay windows provide maximum light to the building's interior spaces, while the combination of a granite (lower three floors) and brick facade (upper stories) help carry and lighten the load of the internal steel framework.


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