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