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Manhattan Building (Chicago, Illinois)

Manhattan Building
Manhattan Building at the northeast corner of Dearborn St. and Congress Pkwy.
Location Chicago, Illinois
Built 1888
Architect William LeBaron Jenney
Architectural style Skyscraper
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 76000697 [1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP March 16, 1976
Designated CL July 7, 1978

The Manhattan Building is a 16-story building at 431 South Dearborn Street in Chicago, Illinois. It was designed by architect William Le Baron Jenney and constructed from 1889 to 1891.[2] It is the oldest surviving skyscraper in the world to use a purely skeletal supporting structure.[3] The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 16, 1976, and designated a Chicago Landmark on July 7, 1978.[4]

The Manhattan Building anchors an impressive row of historic skyscrapers along South Dearborn Street


The distinctive bow windows provide light into the building's interior spaces, and the combination of a granite facade for the lower floors and brick facade for the upper stories helps lighten the load placed on the internal steel framework.[4] The north and south walls of tile are supported on steel cantilevers that carry the load back to the internal supporting structure.

The versatility and strength of metal frame construction made the skyscraper possible, as evidenced by this structure, which reached the then-astounding height of 16 stories in 1891. Its architect was a pioneer in the development of tall buildings.


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  2. ^ Manhattan Building. Chicago Landmarks (URL accessed 9 July 2006).
  3. ^ Manhattan Building, Chicago. Emporis Buildings (URL accessed 9 July 2006).Manhattan Building, 431 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Cook County, IL. American Memory from the Library of Congress (URL accessed 9 July 2006).
  4. ^ a b "Manhattan Building". Retrieved March 2, 2007. 

See also

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