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The Rookery

209 S. LaSalle St., Chicago, IL 60604
312 553 6150
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Ranked #67 of 382 Attractions in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Architectural Buildings, Landmarks
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Attraction details
Owner description: Set in the heart of Chicago’s financial district, at 209 South LaSalle Street, Daniel Burnham and John Root’s Rookery Building is a Chicago landmark, containing a luminous and brilliantly articulated central light court remodeling by Frank Lloyd Wright.When completed in 1888, The Rookery was one of the most expensive and largest commercial buildings in Chicago, housing more than 600 offices. The building’s name was carried over from a nickname given to the structures that occupied The Rookery site prior to its design. These buildings, Chicago’s temporary city hall and a water tank, were known popularly as “the rookery” because of the many birds that nested there and the likelihood of being “rooked” by the politicians in residence.In 1898, when Frank Lloyd Wright opened his studio in Oak Park, he rented space in The Rookery Building to serve as his downtown Chicago office. In 1905, Wright was commissioned to update the interior design and plan of the light court and lobbies. He realized a stunning balance between Burnham & Root’s ornamental ironwork and his own vision to create a spectacular environment – one of his most dramatic interior compositions.Learn about the building’s fascinating history and the unique contribution of one of America’s greatest architects on the Preservation Trust’s guided tours Monday through Friday at noon.
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106 reviews from our community

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English first
Carmel, Indiana
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
32 attraction reviews
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2014

Tucked away in the Financial District, you'll find this bright, shiny gem of a building. Not much to take note of from the outside (except the carved rooks guarding the entrance), but inside -- oh, my! Pure eye-candy! The interior has been renovated several times since it was first erected, but each reworking has its own delights. Most interesting is... More

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Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
30 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2014

Ther Rookery Building was built in 1887, 16 years after the huge fire that destrpoyed Thousands of buildings, and F.L.Wright designed the patio in 1905, adding persan and mauresque details to his design. He introduced his famous "Prairie Style" to his conception. Too bad one cannot access to the upper gallery. (for the tranquility of the offices above, I guess)... More

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Bolingbrook, Illinois
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
12 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014

Upon arriving to the building for the wedding, the doors were all locked-thank goodness it was raining before they let us all in! Security finally let us in but the building seems to always be locked. My cousins got married and had reception in the open room that is in the picture here. The wedding was lovely and bride and... More

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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
13 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2014

The Rookery, a historical landmark built in 1886, was Chicago's first "skyscraper." Designed by Burnham & Root, their offices were on the top floor, where they then did design work for the Chicago World Fair. The skylight in the building's center has ironwork related to the Eiffel Tower, and the Oriel Stair nearby is not to be missed.

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USA
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
26 attraction reviews
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

During a day trip to the city this was at the top of my sight seeing list. Visited on a Sunday. The doors were unlocked and no signs posted that the building was closed. A large group was gathered in the lobby, which looked like a wedding of sorts. So our group quietly went to the side to go up... More

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Vecses, Hungary
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2014

Closed for visitors :( Tried to check this amazing building, but i can't go inside, while has been closed for visitors. But building is amazing from outside too.

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Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
25 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2014

I was trying to find something related to Frank Lloyd Wright and stumbled upon this tour that is only at noon and conducted by the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust. It was a great deal at only $5.00 and be sure to check out the gift shop for Frank Lloyd Wright stuff. Did not had the time to check out his... More

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Illinois
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
25 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2014

If you're into architecture, and you're in Chicago, please make a stop to see this building and it's interior. I believe tours are Mon-Fri 12:00 PM. We didn't know this or we would have made sure to go then. If you're not on a tour you only get to see the lobby, which is definitely worth a stop by. If... More

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New Jersey
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
28 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2014

Grand exterior and gorgeous deep red stone. Step inside and it is bright white and gold. Really interesting details and worth a quick visit. Need no more than 10 minutes to admire as you can only walk around the first floor (at least the day I went).

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
147 reviews 147 reviews
84 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2014 via mobile

This building blends in in the other buildings from the outside. But once you get in you are overwhelmed by the mixture of styles used and the gold plating. On the sidewalls from the atrium you'll find some more about the history.

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