Thursday, 31 October 2019
Taking place at Chicago Architecture Center’s Gand Lecture Hall, kindly sponsored by Otis Elevator Company and presented in conjunction with the Society of Architectural Historians, the one-day Symposium “First Skyscrapers | Skyscraper Firsts,” gathered esteemed architecture academics and skyscraper historians in order to isolate a set of evaluation criteria for identifying pivotal early skyscraper developments. One aim of the Symposium was to discuss and debate the many candidates for “first skyscraper,” depending on differing criteria or categories of innovation (e.g., first tall building with an all-iron frame, or first complete curtain wall). Ultimately, in the spirit of the Congress theme of 50 Forward | 50 Back, the symposium provided a forum for impassioned arguments that melded historical case studies with present-day contexts and discussions of the skyscraper typology’s future.
Scenes from the Symposium