On June 15th, 1907, William Le Baron Jenney suffered twin indignities. The first, he found himself in Los Angeles, the second, he died. He has remained dead now, give or take a week or so, for one hundred years.
Celebrating the anniversary of someone's death is something you'd think you'd wish only on an enemy, but we're always looking for any excuse for a good party. If a birthday isn't available in a large round number, a death can be made to make do.
So over the next few weeks, we're saying a big, "Here's to you, WLJ," with a series of events that commemorate the 100th anniversary of Jenney's passing, including a Saturday symposium at the Chicago History Museum, the dedication of a new Jenney monument at Graceland Cemetery, and a series of lectures at the Chicago Architecture Foundation.
Jenney's major claim to fame is as "The Father of the Skyscraper." Leroy Buffington may have been the first to patent the idea of a metal-frame building, but Jenney was the one who got it done, in the 1884 Home Insurance Building. Read all about Jenney - and see the pictures - here.