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The Rookery

Address: 209 S. LaSalle St., Chicago, IL 60604
Phone Number: 312 553 6150
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Ranked #83 of 946 things to do in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Architectural buildings, Sights & Landmarks
Owner description: Set in the heart of Chicago’s financial district, at 209 South...
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Attraction details
Type: Architectural buildings, Sights & Landmarks
Mon - Fri 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
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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109 reviews from our community

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English first
Clanfield, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
12 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 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
900 reviews 900 reviews
311 attraction reviews
190 helpful votes 190 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
57 reviews 57 reviews
27 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 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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Carmel, Indiana
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
41 attraction reviews
42 helpful votes 42 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
86 reviews 86 reviews
44 attraction reviews
40 helpful votes 40 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
29 reviews 29 reviews
17 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 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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Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
26 attraction reviews
46 helpful votes 46 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
24 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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