Where was the birthplace of the skyscraper?

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 Center on June 22nd, brought together engineers, architects, historians, and academics to take on all skyscraping topics.

One such discussion was a debate as to which city—New York, Chicago, or Minneapolis—gave the world the first skyscraper. 

As part of the debate Leslie delivered a presentation naming the Fisher Building on S. Dearborn (completed in 1896) as the first “modern skyscraper,” an argument illuminated in Chicago Skyscrapers.

Curbed Chicago also interviewed Thomas Leslie about the city’s architectural history before the symposium. 

 Photo: Wrigley Building. Contemporary postcard, collection of Thomas Leslie.   





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