Chicago's first skyscraper was demolished in 1931 to make space for a larger structure. The Time Hotel failed and was replaced by another luxury hotel that also failed. In 1960, another huge hotel was built on the same site as the original tower. It too has since been demolished.
The Chicago Loop is home to many large office buildings and shopping malls. Many of these were built at a time when Chicago was becoming a major city center. As more businesses moved their operations online, these brick and stone structures became outdated.
In 2010, plans were announced to build an 800-foot-high skyscraper on the site of the Time Hotel. But after public opposition caused the plan to be scrapped, the site has yet to be developed.
Today, the area around the former site of the Time Hotel is full of small shops and restaurants. There are also public parks and a giant sculpture called "Cloud Gate" by British artist Anish Kapoor.
Kapoor created Cloud Gate by casting a single piece of stainless steel. It weighs almost 14,000 pounds and is so big that you can see it from miles away.
A skyscraper is a tall commercial structure made of iron or steel. They were made possible by the Bessemer technique of mass producing steel beams. The 10-story Home Insurance Building in Chicago was the first modern skyscraper, built in 1885. It used structural steel frames with exterior finishings of brick and limestone.
The term "skyscraper" was originally applied to large buildings with floors that were more than 22 feet (7 m) below ground level. In fact, the first skyscrapers were actually underground railroad stations that had two or three levels of platforms for passengers. These platforms were where streets now run, so the early skyscrapers were located within city centers. As time went on, these centers became office districts, which are still popular today. A few years after its opening, the Home Insurance Building was declared a fire hazard and demolished. Its replacement was also destroyed by fire.
The next major building was the Equitable Office Building in New York City. It was built in 1890 and was the first steel-frame skyscraper. The foundation walls of this building are 8 inches (20 cm) thick and contain 7,200 square feet (660 sq m). The upper floors are open air with roof gardens, which were very popular at the time.
The Home Insurance Building was followed by many other similar structures across the United States.
The name "skyscraper" was coined in the 1880s, shortly after the first tall buildings were built in the United States, however towering buildings had been there for hundreds of years. Engineers have been fighting for the sky since the Middle Ages. There were towers before there were skyscrapers. But what makes a skyscraper different from other high buildings? The word itself was invented by New Yorkers who wanted to be able to tell their friends they lived in a city where building made sense.
In fact, the very first skyscraper was not built in New York City but rather in Chicago. It was called the Home Insurance Building and it was completed in 1885. This means that Chicago has been leading the way on skyscrapers for almost 100 years now!
Nowadays, most cities around the world have at least one skyscraper. They are useful because higher up you go, the cheaper it is to build out. So banks like to put their offices in tall buildings so they can save money on rent. This is why you often find them next to each other or even all together in one area.
Tall buildings also make sense for companies to put themselves in. If you're in a town with only small shops, it might not make sense for a large company to put themselves out of business by not having an office nearby. A skyscraper gives the company some protection against any potential competition that may come along later.
The peaks and valleys It seemed totally appropriate in 1930s America to blend the amazing height of contemporary skyscraper construction with the expanding international airship industry. On May 1, 1931, the 381-metre Empire State Building formally opened, America was in the grip of the Great Depression. Construction had begun in March 1929 and was not finished until more than four years later. During that time, unemployment rose to 25% and millions of Americans lived in poverty.
The building's architect, William Van Alen, took advantage of the large amount of empty space on its 23rd floor by installing shops and restaurants that paid rent to cover part of their costs. This allowed the building's owner, the New York City Landmarks Society, to save money while at the same time generating revenue. The society also arranged for many famous artists to provide artwork for the floors it sold. These included Henry Moore, Edgar Degas, Louis XIV, and Alexander Calder.
In addition to being a working building with offices, the Empire State Building is a tourist attraction. It is the world's most visited paid public monument.
Today, it is owned by a private company but remains open daily except for 12 months each year when it closes so that employees can take advantage of the annual salary increase given to them at Christmas time. The other six months a year are spent by the building's owners in an effort to make as much profit as possible from its visitors.
What role did skyscrapers play in the growth and development of cities? When land was scarce, they took advantage of vertical growth. His Chicago Plan provided a framework for the city's orderly expansion. He proposed that industry be located in an area that was accessible by rail or waterway, which reduced the cost of moving materials and products around the city. This allowed more space to be devoted to housing and other amenities for citizens.
In New York City, buildings with offices in them called "skyscrapers" were first constructed at the end of the 19th century. They increased in size over time, with some reaching heights of 556 feet (169 m). The tallest building in New York when it was completed in 1973 was 722 feet (220 m) - the Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower) is now the highest building in America.
The need for better transportation networks led to the incorporation of the subway in New York City and Chicago, both built during the 1880s. These underground systems are still in use today. The construction of skyscrapers required new technologies to be developed - among others, iron girders that could support heavy loads high above the ground.
In addition to being used for offices, the top floors of many skyscrapers were set aside as rental apartments.
Skyscrapers are just too large to transport and too expensive to deconstruct and reassemble. It would be less expensive to demolish a skyscraper and rebuild it than to try to relocate it.
Relocating a tall building is not easy. Not only does the weight of the building put stress on the foundations, but so do wind forces and ice loads from snow and rain. The better the design, the more damage such a building will suffer before it has to be demolished. Even after it has been weakened, buildings can remain standing if they are well designed and constructed. But they cannot be rebuilt exactly as before; instead, they must be replaced by something new.
The first skyscraper was built in Chicago in 1885. By 1990, there were already half a million square feet of floor space in Chicago's downtown area. In 2004, the population of Chicago was over 5 million people; that means that enough room exists in the city for me to walk into a wall at least 50 times.
It is difficult to estimate how much space existing buildings take up because most cities have no system for recording this information. However, it is possible to make an estimate by looking at the land areas that buildings occupy and comparing them to other estimates of city size.