Monadnock Building: The Last Brick Skyscraper

In a city full of high-rises, a sixteen story skyscraper might not seem like much, but the Monadnock Building standing in the south Loop area of Chicago, between the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, is an edifice to behold.

The Monadnock Building was built during a period when bricks were the building material of choice. Bricks are easy to manufacture, they are cheap and versatile. There was one problem, however, with bricks—they are very heavy. If you make a building too tall with bricks, it will collapse under its own weight. Modern buildings, hence, use columns and beams made of reinforced concrete or steel to bear the weight. The walls are merely curtains to keep the elements out.

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Monadnock Building

Monadnock Building. Photo credit: Kevin Zolkiewicz/Flickr


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