Glass and light: The influence of interior illumination on the Chicago School

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The classic myth of the Chicago School's demise at the hands of the 1893 Columbian Exposition ignores the complexity and timing of the experiments in skin and structure that gave Chicago's commercial architecture its extraordinary vitality from 1871 to 1922. In particular, the role of illumination - both natural and artificial -had profound consequences for the era's dialogues between frame and cladding. New evidence links the architecture of the era with the economics of plate glass, electrical distribution, and lamp technology. It suggests that the rise and fall of the Chicago "skyscraper style" traced the balance among construction, performance, and material during a time of volatile technical developments and building economics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-23
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Architectural Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Education
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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