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The Rookery

Certificate of Excellence
Downtown / The Loop
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Address: 209 S. LaSalle St., Chicago, IL 60604
Phone Number: 312 553 6150
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Open now
See all 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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 117 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 71
  • 34
    Very good
  • 7
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Unusual building, worth a visit if you're (e.g., Millennium Park, Art Institute)

A short walk from Millennium Park and the Art Institute, this Burnham and Root building features a Frank Lloyd Wright-redesigned lobby. There's an open column opposite the stairs... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed May 26, 2015
Evanston, Illinois
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117 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Evanston, Illinois
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2015 NEW

A short walk from Millennium Park and the Art Institute, this Burnham and Root building features a Frank Lloyd Wright-redesigned lobby. There's an open column opposite the stairs that shows what the original iron looked like: fascinating to see how Wright re-wrote Burnham; makes you wonder what the original would have been like.

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Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
12 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2015 NEW

This little detour from your Chicago visit will be remembered. Go on line and sign up ahead of time. Tours are under an hour, inexpensive and run by enthusiastic, knowledgable volunteers. Gorgeous building. You will see more with a tour than you would on your own. Enjoy.

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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2015 NEW

The Rookery must be one of the rare instances where three important architects had a hand in designing the lobby, and the work of each is well represented. John Wellborn Root did the original design of the lobby in the 1880's to be followed by a remodeling by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1905 and a subsequent redo by William Drummond... More 

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Overland Park, Kansas
Top Contributor
153 reviews 153 reviews
89 attraction reviews
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2015

Beautiful lobby space. I would have loved to do the tour but ran out of time. The gold accents everywhere along with the elaborate staircases a sight to see. The outside of the building certainly stands out between the more modern buildings around it.

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Fargo, North Dakota
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
22 attraction reviews
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2015

If you like Frank Lloyd Wright, do not miss this one. It's not what you think of FLW, but you can see how he evolved his passion with the reno of the lobby. The building is amazing within itself. I would have liked to take a tour of the staircase...

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Long Island, New York
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
8 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2015

I am a big fan of Frank Lloyd Wright so I truly enjoyed the tour of this beautiful building. The Docent was pleasant and well spoken and knowledgeable. The upstairs library was a nice peak into FLW history.

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Crestview, Florida
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
13 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2015

Many things about this building puts it on the list of places to visit. First "high rise" to use interior load bearing. Beautiful interior renovated by many architects - but still has some FLW overtones! Biggest surprise is the "square" donut. Take the tour!

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Clanfield, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
18 attraction reviews
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2015

A real little gem in the Financial District - the building's exterior is funky but its the interior courtyard which is the gem of the piece. There are guided tours available but I think myself its enough to just walk round and admire the design from the courtyard itself. There is an excellent Frank Lloyd Wright shop selling repro items... More 

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Top Contributor
1,073 reviews 1,073 reviews
377 attraction reviews
245 helpful votes 245 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2014

A great stop if you are interested in architecture. Pro tip - you can only view the first floor if you don't take the tour. Near the entrance one of the marble columns has been cut away so you can see the original column underneath. An educational visit in Chicago.

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Bloomington, Illinois
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
28 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2014

Interesting to see the Frank Lloyd Wright redesign/adaptation of the Burnham and Root designed atrium lobby. It is a lovely space, made lighter and more inviting by Wright. Wonderfully restored and well worth a visit.

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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.