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Thomas W. Leslie
Iowa State University of Science and Technology (Ames, IA 50011-2000)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2006 – 7/31/2006

Steel and Glass: Regional Industry and the Making of the Chicago Skyscraper, 1871-1934

This project will examine the role of Midwestern industry in the conception and construction of Chicago skyscrapers from the 1871 fire through the Great Depression. In particular, it will seek archival and constructed evidence that developments in glass manufacture in Northern Indiana (1890-1899) and steel production throughout the Great Lakes had tangible effects on the composition and performance of these commercial structures. While the technical basis of the so-called "Chicago School of Architecture" has often been suggested, this would be the first major study to consider the practical impact of regional economics, industry, and transport on this important period of architectural development.