Tag Archives: Chicago

Bowen Building, 62-74 E. Randolph.  W. W. Boyington, 1872.  (Photo Thomas Leslie) Chicago came to be known as a city of steel, but well into the 1880s it remained a city of brick, which eliminated some of stone’s drawbacks but … Continue reading

Civic Opera, 20 N. Wacker Drive.  Graham, Anderson, Probst, and White, 1929.  View from southwest.  (Contemporary post card, collection of Thomas Leslie) Powered construction, advanced structural engineering, and rapid elevators found their ultimate expression in four record-breaking Chicago projects built … Continue reading

Schlesinger and Meyer Department Store.  Detail of Madison Street elevation.  (Photograph by Thomas Leslie) It was the eventual expansion of Schlesinger & Mayer’s operations that produced the refined statement of function, structure, and construction for which the building became better … Continue reading

Wrigley Building, 510 N. Michigan Avenue, Graham, Anderson, Probst, and White, 1921, view from southeast. (Contemporary postcard, collection of Thomas Leslie) The Wrigley Building’s most striking features, however, were the two hundred high-powered incandescent projectors mounted on adjacent buildings, throwing … Continue reading

Delaware Block, 36 W. Randolph.  Wheelock and Thomas, 1874 (extended later).  (Photo by Thomas Leslie)  Chicago’s soil was a hurdle to tall construction regardless of building type. Chicago rested up on a hundred-foot-thick layer of waterlogged clay that frustrated attempts … Continue reading

Mather Tower, 75 E. Wacker.  Herbert Hugh Riddle, 1928.  View from north.  (Photograph by Thomas Leslie) No tower had been built to such slender proportions, and there were few opportunities for diagonal bracing in the tower’s narrow direction because of … Continue reading

Thomas Leslie, author of Chicago Skyscrapers, 1871-1934, recently spoke with WGLT-FM public radio about what architecture says not only about a city’s history, but about interpreting an urban identity.  “Chicago skyscrapers were seen as this example of technology sort of determining … Continue reading

Thomas Leslie, author of the new University of Illinois Press book Chicago Skyscrapers, 1871-1934, is the subject of a Chronicle of Higher Education feature. Thomas Leslie likes to warn his Iowa State University architecture students that when he brings them … Continue reading

Chicago Skyscrapers, 1871-1934 author Thomas Leslie was on hand for the Association of Preservation Technology Western Great Lakes Chapter and Construction History Society of America’s Skyscraper Symposium. The daylong event held at the School of the Art Institute’s Leroy Neiman … Continue reading

Robert Lombardo author of Organized Crime in Chicago: Beyond the Mafia was featured on CSPAN’s Book TV. During the book discussion Lombardo covered his brushes with mobsters in his grammar school days, his time with the Chicago police department, and his study of … Continue reading