The Skyscraper Museum
Book Talks 2019
The Skyscraper Museum

The Skyscraper Museum is devoted to the study of high-rise building, past, present, and future. The Museum explores tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence. This site will look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.


Monday, April 22, 2019 6:30-8:00 pm

Thomas Leslie

Towards the Glass Box
Postwar Skyscrapers in Portland, New York and Chicago

The ubiquitous "Glass Box" skyscrapers of the postwar era have a surprisingly opaque history. In this talk, architect and professor Thomas Leslie asks "where did the glass skin come from?" and shows how lighting, air conditioning, and glass technologies developed in the decades before Lever House and Seagram. Leslie reveals how solid-wall systems rapidly evolved through experiments with reliable cladding and servicing systems to produce the triumph of transparency.

Thomas Leslie is the Morrill Pickard Chilton Professor in Architecture at Iowa State University, where he researches the integration of building sciences and arts both historically and in contemporary practice. He is the author of​​ Louis I. Kahn: Building Art, Building Science (2005), Chicago Skyscrapers, 1871-1934 (2013) and, with Jason Alread and Robert Whitehead, Design-Tech: Building Science for Architects (2014).

The exhibitions and programs of The Skyscraper Museum are supported by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.