Two one-week workshops for eighty school teachers on the development of the skyscraper in Chicago and the relationship of skyscrapers to urbanization.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) offers a workshop to explore how the rise of the skyscraper stimulated and reflected change in American life. Between 1885 and 1895, rising land prices and technological changes such as the invention of the elevator and the steel frame made a new building type, the skyscraper, both commercially necessary and physically possible. In the heart of Chicago's city center or "Loop," a boom of new tall buildings formed what became known as the "Chicago School" of architecture. Workshop participants examine the interplay of economic, cultural, and aesthetic influences that transformed Chicago's built landscape from the 1880s through the present. Teachers visit several landmark buildings throughout the "Loop," such as the Reliance Building (D. H. Burnham & Co., 1895), the Chicago Tribune Tower (Raymond Hood, 1925), and the Federal Center (Mies van der Rohe, 1964, 1974). Sessions with historian Henry Binford (Northwestern University) and architectural historians Katherine Solomonson (University of Minnesota) and Joanna Merwood-Salisbury (Parsons The New School for Design), as well as with practicing architects, advance exploration of the complexities of the tall building boom. Readings include selections from (among other works) William Cronon, Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West; Daniel Bluestone, Constructing Chicago; Louis Sullivan's 1896 essay, "The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered"; and Carl Sandburg's 1916 Chicago Poems. Participants receive CAF's award-winning curriculum guide, Schoolyards to Skylines: Teaching with Chicago's Amazing Architecture.