Home Insurance Building

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The Home Insurance Building was built in 1885 and demolished in 1931. Rising 10 stories high, it is considered by some to be the father of the skyscraper. It was located in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was 138 feet (42m) high and made of steel and bricks. It was the first building ever to be supported by a metal skeleton of vertical columns and horizontal beams. The Home Insurance Building was the first tall building to have a high proportion of its exterior in the form of windows. It was designed by William LeBaron Jenney, who discovered that thin pieces of steel could support a tall building as effectively as thick stone walls. In fact the building weighed only one-third as much as a stone building would have; city officials were so concerned that they halted construction while they investigated its safety. The Home Insurance Building is a forerunner or early example of the Chicago School in architecture. Since the steel skeleton supported the weight of the entire building and the exterior wall was really just a skin to keep out the weather, the Home Insurance Building was the first tall building to have many windows. Jenney’s steel frame brought floor space and windows to the structure now known as the modern skyscraper.

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