The historic Reliance Building in Chicago was completed in 1895 by Charles Atwood. Charles B. Atwood (1849–1896) was a legendary architect who designed several structures and buildings for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
The book “Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson vividly describes Atwood and Burnham’s contributions to the Columbian Exposition. The book is set in Chicago around 1893. True stories about the legendary architects like Daniel H. Burnham and Charles Atwood, who designed and built the structures for the Exposition, are intertwined with the tale of Dr. H.H. Holmes. He was the notorious serial killer who lured his victims to their death in Chicago during the Exposition.
The book also describes the building of the the first Ferris Wheel in 1893! The Ferris Wheel was designed and constructed by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for the Columbian Exposition. It was originally called the “Chicago Wheel.”
The construction of the Reliance Building ushered in an era of Chicago’s treasured skyscrapers! The building is located at 32 N. State Street in Chicago.
It was designated as a Chicago Landmark on July 11, 1975 by the Landmark Commission. The citation reads:
“In recognition of the early and complete expression, through slender piers, small spandrels and the skillfully restrained use of terra cotta with large areas of glass, of the structural cage of steel that alone supports such buildings.”
The building has an interesting history. In 1882, William Hale commissioned architects Burnham and Root to design a 16 story tower at the corner of State and Washington. It was to be called the Reliance Building. The new structure was to replace the First National Bank of Chicago Building.
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Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com