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Inland Steel Building

Photo credit: Alan Brunettin
The Inland Steel Building Photo credit: Alan Brunettin
Photo credit: SOM | Ezra Stoller © Esto
When it was built in 1958, the building boldly proclaimed modernist ideals. Photo credit: SOM | Ezra Stoller © Esto

One of the first skyscrapers to be built in Chicago’s downtown after the long construction drought that followed the Great Depression, the Inland Steel Building was considered avant-garde at the time of its completion in 1958. Its elegant stainless-steel-clad façade honored the company it housed (and for which the building was named).

This building’s open floor plan — with no interior columns or other obstructions — was made possible by clustering the elevators and other systems in an adjacent tower. The Inland Steel Building was also the city’s first fully air-conditioned building.

The Inland Steel Company was active from 1893 to 1998, with a plant in East Chicago, Indiana that processed iron ore into steel. The company was acquired in 1998 by a global conglomerate and no longer occupies the building.