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Architect William Le Baron Jenney « previous 3 of 5 next »

William Le Baron Jenney is considered the father of the modern skyscraper. He was an engineer before practicing architecture, which gave him better insights into new materials and construction methods. He designed buildings with steel supports and was able to build taller and larger buildings than would be possible with traditional wood and brick materials. He was the perfect choice to design the Horticulture Building which was essentially a big steel and glass greenhouse. The great glass dome central to the design of Horticulture Building pointed to the direction modern architecture would take in adopting steel and glass as primary building materials. The work of William Le Baron Jenney would be the basis for which modern architects, like Mies van der Rohe, were able to perfect the steel and glass curtain method of construction that would allow buildings to reach new heights and become skyscrapers.

Bancroft, Hubert Howe. The Book of the Fair. Chicago: The Bancroft Company, 1893. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.

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