Chicago+and+the+American+Renaissance -...

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Renaissance  I. Industrialism in the City . “Creative destruction:” The Chicago Fire of 1871 as the birth of a city of open real estate: a blank slate in which every parcel as a piece of merchandise. New industrial technologies – the elevator , the telephone , the electric light and metal- frame construction – facilitate intensified development densities. II. “Commercial Architecture”: The ‘First’ Chicago Style. Modern structural systems as a springboard for a new architectural aesthetic. In post-fire Chicago, buildings with floors and walls supported by skeletal metal framing provide construction economy, fire resistance (when metal framing is clad in heat-retardant masonry) and a new surface aesthetic based on an external ‘skin’ of windows and mass-produced terracotta panels clipped onto the steel skeleton – anticipating the “curtain wall skyscraper of the mid-20 th century. William LeBaron Jenney (1832-1907), generally credited as the developer of the first successful metal-frame: the Home Insurance Building, Chicago, 1884-5, demolished 1931. A hybrid iron structure conceived as an innovation in fireproofing. (A true metal- framed highrise would carry the weight of all exterior sheathing on its frame, rather transmitting it to lower-story masonry bearing walls and foundation). The exterior is also a patchwork hybrid, created by stacking orthodox facades atop each other in horizontal layers The aesthetic problem of the large building : Marshall Field Wholesale Store , 1885-87, Henry Hobson Richardson
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Chicago+and+the+American+Renaissance -...

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