The architecture of Chicago has influenced and reflected the history of American architecture. The city of Chicago, Illinois features prominent buildings in a variety of styles by many important architects. Since most buildings within the downtown area were destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, Chicago buildings are noted for their originality rather than their antiquity..Beginning in the early 1880s, architectural pioneers of the Chicago School explored steel-frame construction and, in the 1890s, the use of large areas of plate glass. These were among the first modern skyscrapers and amongst their most famous architects were William LeBaron, John Wellborn Root Sr., Daniel Burnham and Charles Atwood. Louis Sullivan was perhaps the city's most philosophical architect. Realizing that the skyscraper represented a new form of architecture, he discarded historical precedent and designed buildings that emphasized their vertical nature. This new form of architecture, by Jenney, Burnham, Sullivan, and others, became known as the "Commercial Style," but it was called the "Chicago School" by later historians..Since 1963, a "Second Chicago School" emerged, largely due to the ideas of structural engineer Fazlur Khan. Some of Chicago's skyscrapers such as the John Hancock Center, Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) and The Trump International Hotel and Tower are amongst the tallest buildings in the world.
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Chicago Architecture