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Reliance Bldg modelReliance Building

1:1000 scale miniature paper model, about 2.5 inches tall

The Reliance Building is an early experiment in Chicago skyscraper engineering. Newly-invented steel skeleton construction allowed the building to be completed in two stages. The granite-faced lower floors were built in 1891 by John Wellborn Root to fit underneath the still-occupied upper floors of an existing masonry structure on the site. In 1894, the floors of the previous building were torn down and Daniel Burnham's elegant, airy terracotta and plate-glass tower was constructed on top of the 1891 base.

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Reliance Bldg card