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The Rookery Building

209 S LaSalle St, Chicago, Illinois 60604 USA

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“A historical architectural icon”

As one of the most historically significant buildings in Chicago, The Rookery is a unique enclave for businesses that value a prestigious presence. An icon in the center of Chicago's downtown Financial District, The Rookery seamlessly combines the flair of an era gone by with state-of-the-art building systems and technology. Designated a Chicago Landmark in 1972 after being added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970, The Rookery is universally considered an architectural masterpiece. Also serves as "Duncan's Toy Chest" in Home Alone 2! When Wright was commissioned to work at The Rookery in 1905, the light court’s elaborate ironwork and ornament had gone out of fashion. A full-blown Prairie Style scheme would have overwhelmed the space. To strike a balance, Wright removed much of the iron and terra cotta detailing on the central staircase, balconies, and walls, replacing it with strong geometric patterns based on the railings of Root’s oriel stairs. He encased the iron columns in white marble that was gilded and incised with Root’s Arabic motif found in the LaSalle entrance. The fanciful electroliers that once flanked the central staircase were removed, and Wright added bronze chandeliers with prismatic glass that still hang there today. In the lobbies, Wright covered nearly every inch with incised and gilded marble, removing or hiding the original decorative panels and railings. The incising was copied from Root’s original work and was likely inspired by Owen Jones’ The Grammar of Ornament, a source Root also used. The staircases were squared-off and simplified, and Wright added geometric urns to the Adams Street entrance. Wright replaced the elevator grills with an open geometric cage that reflected his personal style. He made few changes to the building’s exterior except to add a canopy that projected from the LaSalle Street entry arches. Today, you can still see the bronze fixtures that once secured the canopy to the building.

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Reviewed by

  • Road Warrior
  • 401 Reviews
  • 286 Helpful
September 21, 2014
Rated 5.0

Architects or architecture lovers...the Rookery is a building you MUST see. First of all it is located right at the center of Chicago, so it is easily accessible by everyone.

We did not book a tour online so we were limited to the atrium which is fantastic! Natural light penetrates at the interiors and the interior design is marvelous if you think when this building was constructed.

Too bad we did not get to see the upper floors. Next time we will book a tour in order to enjoy the whole building.It is worth it.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 7 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
October 05, 2016
Rated 5.0

Prachtig gebouw. Zeker de moeite waard om een rondleiding te doen, waar je het verhaal achter het gebouw krijgt.

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The Rookery Building

209 S LaSalle St
Chicago, Illinois
60604 USA

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  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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