High in the Sky - The History of Skyscrapers

Written by Brian Enright

If you have ever been to a large city, you have undoubtedly marveled at the large building that make for unique skylines. Those tall buildings are known as skyscrapers. But what is a skyscraper, and how did they start to show up in our cities?

A skyscraper can be described as a very tall building that has many stories. Skyscrapers are primarily used as office buildings, but are also used as apartment buildings and other unique uses. Some of the more famous skyscrapers are the Empire State Building, Sears Tower, One World Trade Center and the Chrysler Building.

The first skyscraper was the Home Insurance Building in Chicago. It was constructed in 1884 and was a modest 10 stories tall. While the height of the building is not very impressive compared to the skyscrapers of today, it was unique for the time. With space at a premium in major cities, the answer was to build taller buildings which could hold up to hundreds of offices, residences and businesses.

Skyscrapers present many challenges for builders and owners. Since space is very limited, and they are being built in busy cities, challenges in building a skyscraper in a busy city can be difficult to overcome. However, from one of the challenges, the first elevator was installed in a building.

Skyscrapers have been around for more than a century and they will continue to be a part of our future growth in big and medium sized cities. To learn more about the history of skyscrapers, please feel free to review the following information.