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The Rookery

Certificate of Excellence
Neighborhood:
Downtown / The Loop
As featured in Highlights of Chicago
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Address: 209 S. LaSalle St., Chicago, IL 60604
Phone Number: 312 553 6150
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Sunday
Closed
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Hours:
Mon - Fri 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Description:

Set in the heart of Chicago’s financial district, at 209 South LaSalle...

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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Recommended
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$15*
and up
Chicago Walking Tour: Historic Loop Skyscrapers
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$640*
and up
Private Guided Tour of Chicago by SUV

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 162 reviews
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  • 98
    Excellent
  • 51
    Very good
  • 7
    Average
  • 3
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    Terrible
Worth a visit

The Rookery Building is an old, historic building that has been repurposed and redesigned multiple times since it was built int he 19th Century. Most notable are the design... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 2 weeks ago
Brendan S
,
Arlington, Virginia
via mobile

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162 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
395 reviews
161 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 213 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The Rookery Building is an old, historic building that has been repurposed and redesigned multiple times since it was built int he 19th Century. Most notable are the design changes made by Frank Lloyd Wright that will be recognizable to anyone who is familiar with his work. Access to the building is pretty limited. There is a short tour, but... More 

Helpful?
Thank Brendan S
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
241 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I lived in Chicago for seven years once and never knew about this wonderful building. A wonder of glass, tile, metal, and space with remodel designs by Frank Lloyd Wright. It really does have an old world aviary feel and is the oldest standing skyscraper in Chicago. Get up and go.

Helpful?
Thank Katherine B
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The airy, light-filled lobby is well worth a short visit to see the beautiful geometry of the white-painted iron structure with its curving staircase and typical Frank Lloyd Wright light fixtures. There's no entrance fee .

Helpful?
Thank CultureVulture60657
Dixon, Illinois
Level Contributor
101 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

This is a renovated by Frank Lloyd Wright gem! You can only walk around the main floor atrium on the weekends (no tour, but free). Check the hours. I think Saturday is 6am to 2pm. You cannot take the elevators anywhere either. They have tours during the weekdays at a cost. They also include a Library tour on Wednesdays. You... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jennifer L
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
35 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2015

Drop in to warm yourself in this amazing place of gold, glass and steel. The double helix staircase is a wonder to see and there is free information about the history of such a majestic building. Venture around the corner to the Florentine Resto at the J.W. Marriott and have yourself a nice glass of Italian red afterwards to discuss... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Nancy S
Overland Park, Kansas
Level Contributor
65 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2015

We missed the tour...but the security guard there showed us around the first floor explaining the WRIGHT additions. HE was Awesome! He saw we were truly disappointed on this rainy afternoon and shared his knowledge. I bought the book on the Rookery in the Frank Lloyd Wright store on the main floor. The store is small but still still we... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank BYI
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
69 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2015

Once you wall in, you'll experience a true wonderment in architecture. The building was redone to it's almost original glory, but it's one of chicago's treasured building and has a great story behind the name, the Rookery. An old water tank once was housed on top of the building which attracted a plethora of birds, hence the nickname of the... More 

Helpful?
Thank theleftbank
Michigan
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2015 via mobile

The photos say it all- beautiful lobby and atrium, restored to show past grandiosity and Frank Lloyd Wright's "renovations". If there is no crowd in the lobby, the guard/security guy will give you for free, the same "tour" and info others pay for! Really helpful and informative!

Helpful?
1 Thank Eric S
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2015

I did a tour through The Rookery via the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust. The tour cost USD$7 and was worth every cent. As with other tours conducted by the FLW Trust, it was led by a Trust volunteer guide. My guide was Karen and she was lovely. As the Rookery is home to many working businesses, flash photography is not... More 

Helpful?
Thank Magpie112
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
63 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2015

We accidentally wandered into the Rookery and what a great little find. Wonderful display of design inside in every corner and a great example of Frank Lloyd Wright's work. Anyone interested in architecture must visit The Rookery.

Helpful?
Thank BananaEggPie

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Staying in Downtown / The Loop

Neighborhood Profile
Downtown / The Loop
Often visitors' first stop in Chicago, The Loop is a good starting point to sample the city's energy and flavor. This central business district boasts Michelin-rated restaurants, upscale hotels, premier shopping, and enough arresting architecture to keep your camera busy for hours. You won’t find too many photo galleries of downtown Chicago without a shot of Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. A stunning skyline coupled with cultural attractions like the Art Institute of Chicago present a Downtown where work and play peacefully coexist.