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.