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The Rookery

209 S. LaSalle St., Chicago, IL 60604
312 553 6150
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Ranked #53 of 362 attractions in Chicago
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Type: Architectural Buildings
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,... more » 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. « less
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96 reviews from our community

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New Jersey
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
24 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 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
112 reviews 112 reviews
59 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 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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Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
46 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014

I've been a member of the Chicago Architecture Foundation for years and this building is one of the hidden gems of their tours. From the outside, it looks like any of the classic buildings in Chicago, from the inside you really get pulled in and held in awe of the interior. I have found myself many time just coming inside... More

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1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

Just let yourself in and be amazed by its architecture. Be sure to take the elevator to the top floor and look down at the staircase.

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
1,200 reviews 1,200 reviews
584 attraction reviews
614 helpful votes 614 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2013

If you are visiting the loop, and especially if you like architecture, you should come here. From the outside it doesn't seem that special but the details inside are a unique look into the mind of FLW. Look at the ceiling and feel inspired.

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Northern California
Top Contributor
142 reviews 142 reviews
42 attraction reviews
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

We found The Rookery while wandering and now wish we'd been on an architectural tour to learn more about it. The lobby is beautiful and interesting, especially the juxtaposition of cast iron and marble. It was informative to read about the different architects who'd played a part in the construction (Burnham & Root) and renovation (F.L. Wright).

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Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
58 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

A beautiful and ground-breaking building. Take the Chicago Architectural Foundation tour that includes a visit to the Burnham library.

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Toronto
Top Contributor
308 reviews 308 reviews
88 attraction reviews
176 helpful votes 176 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

We bought the Universal Ticket from the FLW Foundation to get admission to both Robie House and The Rookery, which I'd never actually heard of. If you can schedule your tour on the correct day, you can also see the restored Burnham library upstairs. Tour guide took us up the stairs to the third floor, explaining how Wright had updated... More

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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

This is a must do attraction in Chicago. You can choose to get in the building, take a few pictures but you will not be allowed to go beypnd the staircase. If you join the tour - there is a ticket office in the lobby on the right - then you benefit from the expertise of a tour guide and... More

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Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
9 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

I work just a few steps from this building and while you can get in for free on the first leve, it's worth the small fee for the 45min tour that includes Daniel Burnham's library. Be sure to bring a camera for the beauty shot.. the fantastic conical like staircase you will be treated with. If you've read the book... More

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