Higher and Higher: Skyscraper Appreciation Day

A view of the John Hancock building from the ground
Source: James Cridland, Flickr

Q:  What building has the most stories?

A:  The library!

Although Harold Washington Library Center is home to many stories, it’s actually only 10 floors tall. Chicago is lucky to have several world-famous skyscrapers like the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), the John Hancock Building and Trump Tower.  I love looking up at them from the street, where they seem to reach into the clouds.

Did you know Chicago was home to the very first skyscraper over a hundred years ago?  Completed in 1885, the Home Insurance Building was 10 floors tall.  Today, if you have dinner at the John Hancock Building, you’ll be on the 95th floor!

Celebrate Skyscraper Appreciation Day on August 10 with some of my favorite lofty titles:

To learn more about how Chicago architecture influenced the history of skyscrapers around the world, check out Skyscraper. I love the beautiful paintings of skyscrapers in this book and the interesting facts about skyscrapers that it offers.

How ARE those towering, massive buildings constructed? Find out in Building Big. Learn about how imagination, common sense, technology and logic all play a role in designing big structures. Plus, check out the PBS tie-in for hands-on activities!

Once you’ve learned the science behind skyscrapers, try building some models of your own using the adventurous challenges in Skyscrapers!: Super Structures to Design & Build.

Compare your own structure's design with those of buildings around the world in Dreaming Up, which combines images of preschoolers at play with famous buildings all over the world, reminding us that creativity and play go hand in hand!

What’s your favorite skyscraper?