TIMELINE: 52 game-changing buildings through the years

From the E.V. Haughwout Building (first passenger elevator) to the Sackett-Wilhelms printing plant (first building with modern AC), BD+C editors present a timeline of the pacesetting projects from the past 170 years. 

February 05, 2016 |
TIMELINE: 52 game-changing buildings through the years

Philip Johnson once called the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum Bilbao “the greatest building of our time.” Photo: Wikimedia Commons

As a postscript to BD+C’s 2016 Game Changers report, the editors compiled a list of 52 pacesetting projects from the past 170 years.

The timeline below includes an elite collection of architectural treasures (Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Jørn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House), engineering feats (Burj Khalifa, CCTV HQ, Taipei 101), sustainability innovators (Philip Merrill Environmental Center, Lewis Center for Environmental Studies, Packard Foundation HQ), and cultural gems (The High Line, Central Park, Coulée verte René-Dumont). Enjoy! 

 

 

Wikimedia commons

1849
Jayne Building, Philadelphia: first metal-framed glass curtain wall

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1851
Crystal Palace, London: world’s first grand plate-glass structure

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1857
E.V. Haughwout Building, New York City: first passenger elevator

 

 

Wikipedia Commons

1857
Central Park, New York City: nation’s first grand urban park

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1881
Savoy Theatre, London: first public building to be lit entirely by electricity

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1882
La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain: Gaudí’s masterpiece breaks ground

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1885
Home Insurance Building, Chicago: world’s first skyscraper

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1889
Eiffel Tower, Paris: world’s tallest structure, until 1930

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1890
Rand McNally Building, Chicago: first all-steel-framed building

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1891
Wainwright Building, St. Louis, Mo.: Louis Sullivan’s influential office tower

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1895
Sea Lion Park, Coney Island, N.Y.: first permanent amusement park to charge admission for rides

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1903
Ingalls Building, Cincinnati: world’s first reinforced concrete skyscraper

 

 

Carrier

1903
Sackett-Wilhelms printing plant, Brooklyn, N.Y.: first building with modern AC

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1909
Highland Park (Mich.) Ford Plant: first moving assembly line

 

 

Landmarks.org

1918
Hotel La Salle garage, Chicago: first multistory parking garage

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1930
Chrysler Building, New York City: world’s tallest, until 1931

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1931
Empire State Building, New York City: world’s tallest, until 1974

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1943
Pentagon, Arlington, Va.: one of the globe’s largest (and most secure) offices

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1955
Disneyland, Anaheim, Calif.: revolutionized amusement parks

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1956
Bridgers and Paxton Solar Building, Albuquerque, N.M.: first solar building

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1959
Guggenheim Museum, New York City: arguably FLW’s greatest nonres. work

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1961
Civic Arena, Pittsburgh: first sports venue with a retractable roof

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1965
Astrodome, Houston: world’s first domed sports stadium

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1965
Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Mo.: nation’s tallest manmade monument

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1967
Montreal Biosphère, Québec: Buckminster Fuller’s most notable dome

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1973
1 and 2 World Trade Center, world’s tallest twin towers, until 1998

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1973
Sydney (Australia) Opera House: Jørn Utzon and Arup’s masterpiece

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1974
Willis (Sears) Tower, Chicago: world’s tallest, until 1998

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1976
CN Tower, Toronto: world’s tallest slip-form-erected building

 

 

PBS.org

1985
Foothill Communities Law Center, San Bernardino, Calif: first seismic base isolation

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1989
Rungrado 1st of May Stadium, North Korea: world’s largest stadium

 

 

Dr. Wolfgang Feist, Passivhouse Institute

1991
Kranichstein row houses, Germany: first Passive House-rated building

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1992
El Peix, Barcelona, Spain: Frank Gehry’s first CATIA-assisted design

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1992
Matitone, Genoa, Italy: first major BIM-designed building (ArchiCAD was used)

 

 

ParisInfo.org

1993
Coulée verte René-Dumont, Paris: world’s first elevated, linear park

 

 

Guggenheim.org

1997
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao: “The greatest building of our time.” (Philip Johnson)

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

1998
Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: world’s tallest twin towers

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

2000
Lewis Center for Environmental Studies, Ohio: first Living Machine system

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

2001
Philip Merrill Environmental Center, Annapolis, Md.: first LEED Platinum building

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

2004
Taipei 101, Taiwan: world’s tallest, until 2010

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

2005
Turning Torso, Malmö, Sweden: world’s first twisting skyscraper

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

2007
Beijing National Stadium: largest steel building in the world

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

2008
CCTV, Beijing: “3D cranked loop” form is a structural engineering marvel

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

2009
The High Line, New York City: sparked the elevated, linear park craze

 

 

Washington University in St. Louis

2009
Tyson Living Learning Center, Eureka, Mo.: first Living Building-certified project

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

2010
Burj Khalifa, Dubai: current world’s tallest

 

 

NBBJ

2011
Miami Valley Heart Center, Ohio: large-scale prefab MEP installation

 

 

Packard Foundation

2012
Packard Foundation HQ, Los Altos, Calif.: largest net-zero-certified building

 

 

Victoria Harbour

2012
Forté, Melbourne, Australia: world’s tallest all-timber tower

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

2013
Cayan Tower, Dubai: world’s tallest twisting tower

 

 

Source

2013
New Century Global Center, Chengdu, China: world’s largest building

 

 

WinSun

2014
WinSun apartments, Shanghai: first 3D-printed commercial building

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