First Skyscraper

When was the skyscraper built and what building can rightfully be called the first skyscraper?

Awarding the title of the first skyscraper is debated among architectural historians, architects and engineers. Just having height is not enough for the building to be called a skyscraper. It is equally important to make a building livable and useable (These were developed in the late 18th and early 19th centuries). All elements were brought together in one building in 1870. 

Engineer George B. Post completes the Equitable Life Assurance Building in New York and is credited with designing the first example of a skyscraper in the United States. Using a skeletal-iron-frame as the structural system, the building reaches a height of 7-1/2 stories. In addition to the building's height the other elements designer Post includes are elevators to move visitors up and down, plumbing, heating and electrical that service the top floors. With these services, tall buildings are habitable and owners can charge premium rents. (image L)

The building is destroyed in 1912 by a fire (image R).

Equitable Life Assurance Building
Equitable Life Assurance Building