Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

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Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) was born in Germany. However he fled reluctantly in the late 1930's as he saw the Nazis growing in power. When he arrived in the states, he was already a somewhat influential designer. He had been the director of the Bauhaus design school for several years and had won the commission for several architectural projects.

Mies settled in Chicago where he was appointed as head of the architecture school at Chicago's Armour School of Technology (later renamed Illinois Institute of Technology - IIT) However, his one condition on taking this position was that he would be able to redesign the campus. Some of his most famous buildings still stand there including Crown Hall, the home of IIT's School of Architecture.

Mies designed and built many modern high-rises in Chicago's downtown and elsewhere. Some of his credits include the Federal Building (1959), the IBM Building (1966) and 860-880 Lake Shore Drive (1948-52), which is widely recognized to be the first building to use an all glass and steel curtain wall in its construction, the hallmark of the modern skyscraper.