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Reliance Building, Chicago

Categories: Architectural Buildings, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.8/5 based on 25+ reviews on the web
The Reliance Building is a skyscraper located at 1 W. Washington Street in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois. The first floor and basement were designed by John Root of the Burnham and Root architectural firm in 1890, with the rest of the building completed by Charles B. Atwood in 1895. It is the first skyscraper to have large plate glass windows make up the majority of its surface area, foreshadowing a design feature that would become dominant in the 20th century.The Reliance Building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970; and on January 7, 1976, it was designated a National Historic Landmark.The Reliance Building is also part of the Loop Retail Historic District, a collection of over one hundred buildings that reflects the growth of State and Wabash Streets as the central retail district of Chicago. The building fell into disrepair starting in the 1940s, and was restored in the late 1990s. Since 1999, the building has housed the 122-room Hotel Burnham and Atwood Cafe.HistoryCommercial real estate in Chicago, Illinois boomed in the late 1870s due to the recovery from the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 and the Depression of 1873–79. In 1880, William Ellery Hale purchased a small lot in the Loop community area containing the four-story First National Bank Building, one of the few offices in downtown Chicago to partially survive the Great Fire. Hale was the founder of the Hale Elevator Company, an early producer of hydraulic elevators necessary in skyscraper design. Hale envisioned a new tower on the site, but first needed to raze the existing structure. However, its tenants did not want to terminate their leases.
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  • We really enjoyed our stay at Hotel Burnham. The hotel is a historic, small boutique hotel that provides excellent service. The staff was great– friendly and helpful, the room was very nice with large...  read more »
  • We stayed here for a night to say that we had. Read Devil In the White City and gain a whole new appreciation for the city's architecture. This is a swanky hotel as far as I'm concerned. Attentive fro...  read more »
  • Another treat is the Reliance Building where we stayed. Built in 1895 now is transformed into an elegant hotel where kindness, cleanliness and comfort are the masters.
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