The Answer to November’s Puzzler

November’s Puzzler was: What was the first major downtown building built since the beginning of the Great Depression?

The answer is a little tricky.

One answer is that the Field Building (now the Bank of America, 135 S. LaSalle St) was the first large building completed after the beginning of the Great Depression. Construction began in 1931 and was completed in 1934. Owner Marshall Field persevered in building it far into the Depression to provide wages for the construction workers. So you could say the Field Building is the correct answer.

But the first large building begun and competed after the Depression and World War II is the Prudential Building at Michigan and Randolph. It was built from 1952 – 1955, 21 years after the Field Building. At the time, it was the tallest building in Chicago. So you could say the Prudential  Building is the correct answer.

The Palmolive Building, which was for a time the Playboy Building, was completed in 1929, two months before Black Tuesday.


About Chicago Stories

I'm a Chicagoan, have been for fifty years. I've had a consulting business in the city for thirty-eight years, working with many Chicago companies and organizations and others around the world. Before that, I worked the city's race relations agency for five years.I am a volunteer tour guide for Chicago's Greeter Program and introduce visitors from around the world to this beautiful city. I'm also a writer of several professional books as well as poetry, essays and fiction. The city has become my inspiration, education and entertainment. View all posts by Chicago Stories

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