First Chicago School: Architecture in the U.S.


I was impressed by the architecture in Chicago which had the great history. The Great Chicago Fire in 1871 had enormous influence on the architecture of Chicago. It destroyed the downtown area and there was almost nothing left. It was during the era of industrial development in the U.S. In some area, especially the East, cities grew rapidly to accommodate new factories and workers. Land was expensive. Chicago was not an exception because of its land features which is surrounded by the Chicago River on the north and west sides, and the Lake Michigan on the east side. So, builders built upward. The first “skyscraper” was built in Chicago in 1885. Now, “Chicago School (シカゴ派)” is used to describe Architectural buildings in the city especially the downtown area during the 1880s and 1890s.
One of the distinguishing features of the Chicago School is the use of steel-frame buildings. At that time, steel was becoming cheaper because of industrial development. That enabled them to build the skyscrapers. Steel frame also allowed them to use large plate-glass window areas instead of large thick bearing wall which had the role of an exterior ornamentation and not only for structure. The design of architecture had been undergoing modernization. The glass, brick and terra cotta “hung” onto the steel frame like a curtain as the columns transferred the weight across the foundation. Then, the sky was the limit. Now, the skyscraper became America’s most important contribution to the world of architecture.
Other important features are:
– Elevation surface: the facade is divided into three distinct parts, emphasizing the vertical. The lower section is functioning as the base. The middle section is the shaft with little ornamental detail and long vertical lines drawing the eye to the capital, the top section. The capital includes more ornamental detail and is usually capped with a cornice.
– The Chicago window: this allows lots of light and air into a building. A typical Chicago window also has three parts. Smaller double-hung sash windows flank a large central fixed pane.

1886_Rookery Building_Burnham & Root: シカゴ派の中でも最も古いものの1つ.エントランスは,ネオクラシカルの要素が残っています.ライトが後からLight Courtの改修に入って,そこを一新.大理石で柱や壁面を覆いました.現在,一部オリジナル柱がみえるようにされています.う~ん,ちょっともったいない気もします.
1890_Reliance Building_John Root:これだけ大きなガラスパネルが使われたのは初めて.
1893_Monadnock Building_Burnham & Root:この重々しさ,壁面から深い場所にある窓.結構好きです.中には昔からあるような靴屋で職人さんが朝早くから仕事をされていました.郵便ポストも何とも言えません.
1895_Marquette Building_Holabird & Roche:シカゴ派の典型例と言われています.建物内にはシカゴ派,建物自体の展示スペースもあります.ビジターのために朝7時半から空いている.心憎い.
1904_Chicago Savings Bank Building_Holabird & Roche:大きな”Chicago windows”が特徴.こちらは少し修繕が行われていました.
Reference: MacArthur Foundation, Wikipedia

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 1886_Rookery Building_Burnham & Root
1890_Reliance Building_John Root






1893_Monadnock Building_Burnham & Root
1895_Marquette Building_Holabird & Roche
1904_Chicago Savings Bank Building_Holabird & Roche