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. The Reliance Building has been called "proto- Modernist" in its lack of the hierarchy found in Classical facades. Its stacks of projecting bay windows and terra cotta cladding create an effect of extraordinary lightness. It was a direct precursor of the all-glass Friedrichstrasse skyscraper proposed by Mies van der Rohe in 1921. Richardson's Marshall Field Warehouse, built only eight years earlier, seems in comparison to be heavy, ponderous, and of another era. The preservation of this building was championed by the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois.


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