BUILDING SYSTEMS AND CONCEPTS
William F. Baker
The very existence of skyscrapers is a testament to innovation.
Mankind had always lived close to the ground. During the thousands of years that preceded the birth of the skyscraper, life was limited by a reality of stairs and ladders. It was only after Elisha Otis invented a safer elevator that architects and engineers started a race to the sky with the 12 story Home Insurance Building - taking office buildings from the historical range of 5 or 6 stories to the 102-story Empire State Building in merely 40 years.
Figure 1 Skyscraper Development.