William LeBaron Jenney (1832-1907)

Horticultural Building

Horticultural Building
World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago
elevation of dome, 1893
blueline print on paper

The Horticultural Building in many ways embodies William LeBaron Jenney's career as an architect. The exterior is encrusted with ornament, while the internal structure of the dome lies unexpectedly beneath, revealing Jenney's prowess with complex construction challenges. In his pioneering work with steel frame construction in the Home Insurance Building and the second Leiter Building, Jenney retained this use of unnecessary decorative detail, which belied the buildings' steel frames.
Return to Tall Office Buildings