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Chicago School is a type of architecture that seen all over the Chicago loop. During the 1880’s and ’90s, Chicago architects designed buildings with this type of architecture. These building main charactersistic is the innovative steel-frame construction. It was descibed in this article, “these “Chicago School” buildings have been praised as important precursors to 20th-century steel-and-glass skyscrapers.” The article also explains the characteristics of this type of building has steel frame construction; masonry cladding, usually terra cotta, clearly emphasizing the steel framing; distinctive three-part windows, with large central fixed panes flanked by smaller double-hung sash windows, and minimal use of ornament.

This type of architecture blossomed after the Chicago fire in 1871. Chicago started to boom, and the value of land in the loop started to soar. So with land becoming so valuable, the low buildings previously in Chicago were seen as not making use of the space, which sparked Chicago School style architecture. This article explains that, “In 1894 Adler & Sullivan developed a type of caisson construction for the Chicago Stock Exchange which quickly became routine for tall buildings across the United States…..This new construction, while costly, had overwhelming advantages. It was almost fireproof; the thin curtain walls hung from the steel frame allowed for more interior rental space; new floors could be added easily; and since the exterior walls were no longer essential to holding up the building, they could be cut away and replaced by ever larger expanses of glass, an important consideration in the early era of electrical lighting.”

Therefore the Chicago School was an astonishing and a profoundly important achievement. It changed the Chicago loop and the rest of the world. So this innovation helped form the city of Chicago. Also, because Louis Sullivan played such a big role in this architecture, he ended up created a Chicago landmark with this type of architecture is the Carson, Pirie, Scott and Compant Building.

– Jeremy


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