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Chicago Skyscrapers, 1871-1934$
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Thomas Leslie

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037542

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037542.001.0001

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Steel and Wind: The Braced Frame, 1890–1897

Steel and Wind: The Braced Frame, 1890–1897

(p.61) Chapter 4 Steel and Wind: The Braced Frame, 1890–1897
Chicago Skyscrapers, 1871-1934

Thomas Leslie

University of Illinois Press

This chapter describes major structures built from 1890 to 1897, many of which featured wind-braced frames that used steel to reduce spatially inefficient masonry walls and piers. Before the late nineteenth century, wind bracing had rarely been more than a minor consideration in structural calculations—the dead weight of brick or stone construction could absorb all but the most severe wind forces. However, the lighter weight of skeletal buildings, their increased height, and the unreliable nature of iron connections brought this issue to the fore. Chicago's tall building designers of the 1880s were among the first to recognize this problem and to solve it with dedicated lateral-resistant systems.

Keywords:   Chicago, building construction, wind-braced frames, steel, masonry, wind bracing

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