Jenney, William Le Baron, 1832–1907, American engineer and architect, b. Fairhaven, Mass. He studied at Harvard Scientific School and the École des Beaux-Arts. Later he learned engineering, constructed a railroad in Panama before the Civil War, and was chief engineer on General Sherman's staff in Georgia. The Home Insurance Building, 10 stories high, which he designed and built in Chicago (1883; since demolished), was the first in which both the floors and the exterior masonry walls were borne by a skeleton framework of metal and has come to be known as the first skyscraper.
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