Chicago Landmarks

Leiter II Building

State St. elevation     Address: 403 S. State St.
Year Built: 1891
Architect: William LeBaron Jenney
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: January 14, 1997

Detail 2 Detail 1 Renowned as one of the nation's most important early examples of skeletal-frame commercial architecture, this building is discussed in every major history of American architecture. A National Historic Landmark, it was designed by William Le Baron Jenney, the so-called "father of the skyscraper." This building was erected by Levi Leiter; later, it was leased by Sears, Roebuck & Co. for its flagship department store. It is the city's oldest surviving department store, a type of building that contributed to State Street's development as a retailing thoroughfare. The so-called "first Leiter" building, built in 1879 at Wells and Monroe, was demolished in 1972.

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