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Inland Steel Building, Chicago

Inland Steel Building reflection 01.jpg

reflection from exterior column, west face

On a recent trip to Chicago, I paid a visit to the magnificent Inland Steel Building.  For a couple of years I worked diagonally across the street and was assailed by the strong afternoon reflections bouncing off its stainless steel columns and reflective windows and invariably glaring on my drawing board and computer.

Inland Steel Building reflection 03.jpg

partial west face, 12 noon

Designed by Walter Netsch and Bruce Graham at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in 1956, it marked the first significantly tall building built in the Loop for 30 years.  The core of elevators, stairs and restrooms are housed in a separate, attached tower leaving the office floors clear and open.  Of course, in a perfect correspondence, the entire exterior of the building is clad in the client's company's stainless steel.

Inland Steel Building reflection 02.jpg

reflection from exterior column, south face

Visiting this building again I noticed that the curb edges for this building and much of the Loop are banded steel.  Much of downtown Boston is lined with granite curbs.  In both cases a very nice use of a local material and appropriate metaphor for the culture of the place.