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Rookery Building, Chicago

4.5
The Rookery Building is a historic landmark located at 209 South LaSalle Street in the Loop community area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Completed by John Wellborn Root and Daniel Burnham of Burnham and Root in 1888, it is considered one of their masterpiece buildings, and was once the location of their office. The building measures 181ft, is twelve stories tall and is considered the oldest standing high-rise in Chicago. It has a unique style with exterior load-bearing walls and an interior steel frame, which provided a transition between accepted and new building techniques. The lobby was remodeled in 1905 by Frank Lloyd Wright. Beginning in 1989, the lobby was restored to the original Wright design.The building was designated a Chicago Landmark on July 5, 1972, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 17, 1970 and listed as a National Historic Landmark on May 15, 1975.NameThe name of the building is an allusion to the old City Hall building that occupied the land before the Rookery. That building was nicknamed the Rookery not only in reference to the crows and pigeons that inhabited its exterior walls, but also because of the shady politicians it housed (given the rook's perceived reputation for acquisitiveness). After the Great Chicago Fire a dilapidated building was used as an interim City Hall at this location (LaSalle and Adams). However, pigeons became such a nuisance that a complaining citizen began referring to the building as "a rookery", a term the press quickly adopted. Although several names were considered when a new structure on the site was proposed, "the Rookery" won out.
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Rookery Building Reviews
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240 reviews
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4.6
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  • August 9, 2017
    Therefore enter this private building where it is possible to admire the entrance hall ("atrium") of this historic building of Burnham in red stone of 1888. Building redesigned by Frank Lloyd Wright in particular the atrium in a very air style. All this has been beautifully restored and is worth a visit.
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  • August 8, 2017
    To see, little quick stop if you pass by. We walked the city and we liked to see the ceiling of the Rookery since we passed nearby. Nice!
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  • July 30, 2017
    The outside of the building is very pretty, but I had no idea of what treasure it held inside. Visited on a walking tour. Interior detail was impressive and awe inspiring. A lovely steel suspended sta...  more »
Google
  • June 28, 2017
    A "must see" for any Chicago traveler. This historic building houses a roof designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and has a gift shop inside. The roof was covered in tar and used for parking at one point but has now been fully restored.
  • June 15, 2017
    Lobby is open to visitors to see Root's design and Lloyd Wright's update. Make sure to check the Information is posted on the walls for details about the building. Worth the read.
  • May 8, 2017
    This building is amazing to look at. It's a shame that on the day I wanted to see the lobby, it was closed. Pretty cool anyways, hope to see it next time.
  • March 22, 2017
    Cool architectural gem in the city. Once the headquarters for the famous Daniel Burnham the atrium is gorgeous and the iconic stair is worth the walk. Unfortunately security is tight so you aren't going far without being invited by one of the businesses inside or on an architectural tour.
  • June 14, 2017
    Inside the building looks amazing. Must see place in the area.

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