Today is National Skyscraper Day | 03 September 2020
Skyscraper Day 2020 is celebrated on September 3 every year to acknowledge the architectural and engineering feats that make such buildings possible by climbing or taking the elevator/lift up a skyscraper.
Skyscraper Day is observed to acknowledge the architectural and engineering tricks that make such buildings possible today. Skyscraper Day is celebrated on Louis H. Sullivan's birthday (1856), the architect credited with the first skyscrapers.
The architecture of tall buildings has become a common thing in cities across the world that the general public hardly gives a thought to the visionaries responsible for building a town's unique skyline. Skyscraper Day offers the opportunity to learn more about the architects who commit a dream to paper and the construction crews that make it a reality.
Skyscrapers are tall buildings that define a city's skyline. The term originates in the United States in the late 1880s during the building boom in Chicago and New York. At this time, buildings that had more floors than the surrounding buildings were called skyscrapers. These days, buildings that have at least 40 or more levels are called skyscrapers.
Skyscrapers are continuously habitable buildings of many storeys, mostly designed for commercial use. There is no official definition or height above which a building can be classified as a skyscraper. One common feature of skyscrapers has a steel framework that supports curtain walls.
What is the history of Skyscraper Day?
Ingenious efforts of engineering and architectural skill are on display in tall, multistoried buildings called skyscrapers, which we celebrate on September 3 every year. A number of factors led to the literal rise of these structures. For one, with increased urban commerce and a rapid increase in the population density in urban areas, there was a need for them. Initially, they were used only for commercial purposes, but they are now often used as residential dwellings.
Another factor leading to their rapid growth was the invention of the passenger elevator. The first passenger elevator was installed in the Haughwout Department Store in New York City in 1857. The first tall office building with a passenger elevator was the Equitable Life Building in New York City in 1870. The third factor, which ultimately made it possible for skyscrapers to be built, was the invention of the Bessemer process in the 1860s that paved the way for the mass production of steel. Steel is an alloy that is stronger and lighter than iron and was used to construct buildings and allowed them to be much taller.
The 10-storey Home Insurance Company Building, completed in 1885, is usually seen as the first skyscraper. It was designed by William Le Baron Jenney using steel girders and standing at 128 feet. Jenney's protégé was Louis H. Sullivan, another architect of early skyscrapers. It is on his birthday that National Skyscraper Day is celebrated every year.
How to observe Skyscraper Day?
Celebrate the day by knowing what the world's tallest skyscrapers are. Perhaps you could even visit one on Skyscraper Day. If you are unable to travel to another city or one of the tallest skyscrapers isn't nearby, there are still other skyscrapers in your city you could visit. Check to see if tours are allowed, or if there is a restaurant at the top of one where you could spend time. In case you live in a small town and there aren't any skyscrapers, you could still find the tallest building in your community.
Some facts about skyscrapers
- The Home Insurance Building in Chicago is generally considered the world's first skyscraper. Completed in 1885, it was the first to use a curtain wall construction on a steel frame.
- Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest skyscraper
- The World's fastest elevator is located in Shanghai Tower
- Asia has the highest number of skyscrapers
- Hong Kong has more skyscrapers than any other city with 308
- The now under construction Kingdom Tower will beat out the Burj Khalifa to become the world’s tallest skyscraper when it opens in 2020 in Saudi Arabia. It will have a height of more than one kilometre or 3,307 feet and will have cost about US $1.2 billion.
Compiled by M-A.L