Wednesday, May 19, 2010
It was on May 1, 1884 that construction was started on the Home Insurance Company in Chicago. The 10-story building was completed in 1885. Designed by William Le Baron Jenney, it had a steel frame that carried the weight of the building. The walls provided no support but hung like curtains on a metal frame. This method of construction revolutionized American architecture and allowed architects to build taller and taller buildings. BTW, the Home Insurance Building was destroyed in 1931.
Some (but not all) consider this project to be America’s first skyscraper.
We speak with Martin Moeller from the National Building Museum in Wwashington, DC about this first skyscraper, subsequent skyscrapers and about the National Building Museum.