Considered by some the “Crown Jewel” of Chicago modernist architecture, the Inland Steel Building (SOM, with Walter Netsch and Bruce Graham, 1958) reflects the company’s commitment to the Loop and a celebration of its product: steel. The first skyscraper constructed in the Loop following WWII and the depression, Inland Steel was highly innovative for its time, incorporating elements such as double-glazed tinted windows; early air-conditioning; underground parking; and structural columns on either end with a separate tower housing the elevators, stairs, and bathrooms, allowing for column-free universal office space throughout. Built as Inland Steel’s headquarters, the use of brushed stainless steel reflects the company’s desire to construct an exceptional building.
Behind the Scenes Access: Visit an empty floor in the Inland Steel building to see the open space that this building is famous for.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday 9am-5pm
Architect(s): Skidmore Owing & Merrill