SOM in the Press

The Man Who Saved the Skyscraper

Structural engineer Fazlur Khan (far left) stands next to architect Bruce Graham with a model of their design for the John Hancock Center. Photo © SOM

Source: Mental Floss

In December 1965, the psychic Jeane Dixon made a prediction: Chicago’s John Hancock Center would come tumbling down.


The 100-story building was to become the second-tallest structure in the world, and its radical design was unprecedented.

Structural engineer Fazlur Rahman Khan, the man behind that design, was only 35 years old when he submitted his plans. He had worked at the Chicago architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) for just a decade. For the architecture world, he was remarkably young. But if he was wet behind the ears, he didn’t show it.

Continue to Full Article