Chicago's IBM Building (AMA Plaza and Langham Hotel)
The IBM Building, now known as 330 North Wabash, was erected in Chicago in 1972. The building was the last skyscraper designed by the distinguished Second School architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who died before its completion. The building serves as a monument to the dominance of IBM within the late twentieth-century business world. IBM, at the time of the building's design, employed more than 240,000 people and generated more than $6.8 billion in revenue. The building is now home to the headquarters of the American Medical Association and the Langham Hotel.
Backstory and Context
Buildings constructed earlier in the century dominated the Chicago skyline until the late 1950s, when resumption of commercial building signaled the arrival of what became known as the "Second Chicago School" or Second School architecture. The Second School's most influential figure was Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a native of Germany who served as one of the major pioneers in the development of modernism in Europe.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe immigrated to the United States and arrived in Chicago in 1937. He assumed the headship of the School of Architecture at Chicago's Armour Institute of Technology (later Illinois Institute of Technology. Several of his influential European contemporaries such as Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer also came to the United States during the 1930s. Together, these architects sought to challenge current building design just as the original Chicago School architects had done. Together, these architects created designs based on 20th century modernism.
"330 N. Wabash." Chicago Architectural Info. Accessed July 26, 2018. https://www.chicagoarchitecture.info/Building/1043/330NorthWabash.php.
"IBM Archives: IBM Plaza in Chicago." IBM.com.. Accessed July 26, 2018. https://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/vintage/vintage_4506VV8010.html
Schulze, Franz. "Architecture: Second School. Chicago." Newberry Library: Encyclopedia of Chicago. Accessed July 26, 2018. http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/64.html
Tess, John M. "Registration Form: IBM Building." National Register of Historic Places. July 15, 2000.. https://archive.org/stream/NationalRegisterNominationsForChicago/IbmBuildingNom#page/n0
IBM Building, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe: By Nathaniel Lindsay. Found at Skyscraper Center, http://www.skyscrapercenter.com/building/330-north-wabash/18349
330 N. Wabash, as seen in the 21st Century: By John W. Cahill. Found at Skyscraper Center, http://www.skyscrapercenter.com/building/330-north-wabash/18349