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The Rookery

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Downtown / The Loop
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Address: 209 S. LaSalle St., Chicago, IL 60604
Phone Number: 312 553 6150
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Today
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Closed now
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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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amazing

From the outside, you wouldn't guess what you'll see inside. From the sidewalk, it looks like a nice old office building, but step inside and it's like a temple of light and... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 15, 2015
ochunmimadre
,
Seattle, Washington

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129 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
62 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2015

From the outside, you wouldn't guess what you'll see inside. From the sidewalk, it looks like a nice old office building, but step inside and it's like a temple of light and space. I can't believe that something like this was created, let alone preserved and still there for our viewing (for free, no less). I'm not an expert on... More 

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Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2015

The history that is this building is epic. Anyone interested in the history of the skyscraper and modern cities needs to visit this building. Burnham and Root were innovators who changed the world and Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright followed in their footsteps.

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Roselle, Illinois
Level Contributor
166 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2015

This is a surprise to even those born in Chicago! If you like architecture this is a beautiful building built in 1888 by John Wellborn Root and Daniel Burnham (of the famous "White City"). 1/2 hours tours are offered but fill-up quickly from the demand of being able to see the office of Burnham and the spiral staircase. Frank Lloyd... More 

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Level Contributor
200 reviews
104 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2015

This is a beautiful building with a wonderful history. I took the tour through the Chicago Architecture Foundation and this is the only group that has access to the upper floors and the circular stairway and historical library. If you do not want to take the tour, then you can see the first floor and read the wall posters about... More 

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Sydney, Australia
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631 reviews
235 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 231 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2015

This is one of the earliest sky scrapers in the city-1888. Rooks can be seen in the sculpture at the side of the ornate entrance to the building & on the interior lift door. A Rookery is also at the top of the tower. The central court is full of light & the lobby which once had beautiful rectangular metal... More 

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Sanford, Florida
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2015

Whether you just walk through the lobby or take the tour, don't miss this if you are interested in architecture. The tour takes you up a couple of stories and is very informative. It left me wanting more, however. Wish I could have seen more of the building.

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Leeds, United Kingdom
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269 reviews
226 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2015

An early work of Burnham & Root, from the outside the Rookery is another rather intimidating dark coloured building of its period (late C19th). Once into the glass roofed 2 storey lobby all is bright and very light due to a 1907 makeover by one Frank Lloyd Wright. He clad the entire lobby in white marble and gold leaf and... More 

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SoCal
Level Contributor
99 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2015

As I arrived, workers were covering the walls with sheets preparing for a wedding. The architecture was so interesting and elaborate. Certainly worth seeing.

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Evanston, Illinois
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2015

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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Level Contributor
61 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2015

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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Staying in Downtown / The Loop

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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.