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Architecture since 1400$
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Kathleen James-Chakraborty

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816673964

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816673964.001.0001

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Chicago from the Great Fire to the Great War

Chicago from the Great Fire to the Great War

(p.323) 21 Chicago from the Great Fire to the Great War
Architecture since 1400

Kathleen James-Chakraborty

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter focuses on the architecture of Chicago in the nineteenth century. From little more than a village when it was founded in 1850, Chicago became one of the world’s major metropolises by 1900, with a population of over 1.5 million. The Rookery Building, completed in 1888, became the city’s most prestigious office block. Its architects maximized their clients’ profits by creating the greatest possible number of high-rent stores and well-lit office spaces. Chicago was also at the forefront of creating a new civic architecture. The buildings that housed civic institutions—public libraries, museums, theaters and orchestra halls, and government buildings—were intended not so much to provide places for display, as to edify a broader public.

Keywords:   Chicago, capitalism, architecture, Great Fire of 1871, civic architecture, office buildings, Rookery Building

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