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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Commercial or Chicago Style (architecture)


a style popular ca. 1895-1930 which refers to the commercial and office form that developed in the late nineteenth century, primarily in response to the new technologies that permitted greater physical height and larger expanses of open floor space. The style is sometimes termed the "Chicago Style" because experimentation with the form flourished in that city after the 1871 fire. Metal skeleton framing, first in cast and wrought iron, later in steel, was foremost among the new technological developments. Typically five or more stories in height, the Commercial Style's character derives from its fenestration. Whereas load-bearing masonry walls admitted relatively few windows, the new structural skeleton permitted maximum light and ventilation. The fenestration pattern is usually regular with large divided rectangular windows. A common window type is the "Chicago window," a three-part window with a large rectangular fixed central light flanked by two narrow, double-hung sashes.

View pictures relating to architecture at Wisconsin Historical Images.

[Source: Cultural Resource Management in Wisconsin (Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1986). ]

52 records found

Alligator (logging)
Arts and Crafts (architecture)
Badger Guards (Civil War military unit)
Badger State Flying Artillery (Civil War military
Barca, Peter W. 1955
Beaver Dam Rifles (Civil War military unit)
Belle City Rifles (Civil War military unit)
Beloit City Guard (Civil War military unit)
Berlin Light Guard (Civil War military unit)
Black River Rangers (Civil War military unit)
Black Yagers (Civil War military unit)
broad gauge (railroads)
Commercial or Chicago Style (architecture)
Comstock, George Cary 1855 - 1934
Crawford, Thomas James 1952
Darlington Light Infantry (Civil War military unit
depth of hold (maritime)
forest fires in Wisconsin
Graham, Heather 1970 -
gross tonnage (maritime)
hatch (maritime)
International Style (architecture)
Iowa County Courthouse (Historic Marker Erected 19
Janesville [brief history]
Kasten Jr., Robert W. 1942
Kaukauna [origin of place name]
Kaukauna, Outagamie Co.
Lacrosse (place name)
Latvians in Wisconsin
log construction (architecture)
Lothian, Thomas A. 1928
Mccallum, Scott 1950
Menomonee Falls, Menomonee River
Milwaukee County's First Airport (Historic Marker
Milwaukee Handicraft Project
Mirro Aluminum Company
Mitchell, William, 1879 - 1936
narrow gauge (railroads)
net tonnage (maritime)
Oak Creek [brief history]
room and space (maritime)
Site of Fort St. Antoine 1686 (Historic Marker Ere
six-foot (railroads)
Southside Historic District Parks (Historic Marker
standard gauge (railroads)
ten-foot (railroads)
Whittow, Wayne F. 1933
Wiley, Alexander 1884
World's Columbian Exposition

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