Passersby in the late 1800s must have been astonished by the Reliance Building because it seemed to have more windows than building – unheard of in those days. Completed in 1895, Daniel Burnham and John Wellborn Root’s firm designed this 14-story building. But it has a peculiar origin story. An elevator entrepreneur commissioned Burnham and Root to design a new building at State and Washington. According to the National Register of Historic Places, residents in the existing building’s upper floors had leases until 1894 and didn’t want to give them up when Root began planning in 1890. To begin work on the new building, the workers jacked up the top floors of the existing building and began building the foundation and first floor beneath them. To make matters more complicated, Root died of pneumonia in 1891. Charles Atwood took over the plans and the building was completed in 1895 once all the former tenants moved out of the jacked-up floors. After falling into disrepair in the mid-twentieth century, the building, with its large windows and white terracotta exterior, was restored in the 1990s.