Skyscrapers Cities Chicago Reliance Building

Height125 feet

About Reliance Building

The Reliance Building is the first skyscraper to have large plate glass windows make up the majority of its surface area, foreshadowing a feature of skyscrapers that would become dominant in the 20th century. It is located at 32 North State Street, Chicago, Illinois, and as of 2006 houses the Hotel Burnham. The Reliance building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970; and on January 7, 1976, it was designated a National Historic Landmark. The building was designed by Charles B. Atwood of Daniel H. Burnham's architectural firm, with E.C. Shankland as engineer. Its basement and ground floor, designed by John Wellborn Root, were constructed in 1890, while the upper three stories of the building previously on the site remained suspended above on jackscrews. The addition of the remaining floors in 1894–1895 completed the building and marked the "first comprehensive achievement" of the Chicago construction method. The building's plate-glass windows are set within a tiled facade. Its steel-frame superstructure is built atop concrete caissons sunk as much as 125 feet beneath the footing.

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