We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
$25 Amazon.com Gift Card Get yours when you book a hotel on TripAdvisor and review your stay!

The Rookery

Certificate of Excellence
Downtown / The Loop
As featured in Highlights of Chicago
Sponsored by:
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: 209 S La Salle St, Chicago, IL 60604-1219
Phone Number: 312 553 6150
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Mon - Fri 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

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.

read more
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Chicago Walking Tour: Historic Skyscrapers
More Info
and up
Chicago Barrel Bus Prohibition Themed Gangster Tour
More Info
and up
Private Guided SUV Tour for up to 4 Guests

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 185 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 99
  • 46
    Very good
  • 6
  • 3
  • 3
Experience Frank Lloyd Wright Downtown

The Rookery offers a rare chance to see a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece downtown. Wright remodeled a previously dark, Victorian lobby using beautiful white marble cladding, gold... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
Chuck A
Chicago, Illinois
Add Photo Write a Review

185 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 157: English reviews
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
40 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

The Rookery offers a rare chance to see a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece downtown. Wright remodeled a previously dark, Victorian lobby using beautiful white marble cladding, gold leaf, and white paint to reflect natural light as much as possible to cut down the need for gas lighting as much as possible. It is a Wright tour de force that is... More 

Thank Chuck A
West Palm Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
21 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Birds built their nests inside this building after the Chicago fire and then architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed an amazing interior to depict this! Beautiful to see from the lobby, but must take the elevator to the top floor to really appreciate the beauty of the building! Absolutely outstanding!

1 Thank Barb34731
Level Contributor
52 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

All architecture lovers should at least step in this building to check out the lobby, but do try to plan ahead and catch the tour. Then you can go up the usually off-limit stairs and see the mezzanine, the glass tile floor, the spiral staircase. You'll learn of the history and significance of the building, and appreciate so many more... More 

1 Thank mpaulette
Greenville, South Carolina
Level Contributor
270 reviews
103 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2016 via mobile

Early Chicago "skyscraper." Built in the financial district in 1888 after the Chicago fire. Remodeled by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1905. There is a limited tour which we missed so call ahead. Still, you can walk into the lobby and enjoy the original metalwork atrium and Wright's gold inlay marble lobby. Exterior is brown stone. Beautiful.

1 Thank Phillip K
Taunton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
107 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2016

Once the tallest building in Chicago, the Rookery is steeped in history featuring original design by Burnham and Root (1888) and later redesign of the lobby by Frank Lloyd Wright (1905). A 30 min inexpensive tour of the foyer will acquaint you with the history of the building and explain aspects of the design features and is worthwhile. The stunning... More 

Thank Sooperstar100
Mobile, AL
Level Contributor
332 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2016

The tour itself took about 30 minutes, was reasonably priced and covered more or less the lobby and mezzanine of the building. For the price, it was interesting, but if you are looking for insight into FLW architecture you probably won't get it here. If you want to look at some beautiful and interesting building lobbies, you can duck your... More 

Thank Kegan36604
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,724 reviews
700 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,210 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2016

When legendary Chicago-based architects Daniel Burnham and John Wellborn Root built what was to be called "The Rookery Building" in 1888, they never dreamed that their 12-story masterpiece at 209 South LaSalle Street would be named after the old City Hall building that it replaced after being used as a nesting place by pigeons. The building, considered the oldest standing... More 

1 Thank Taylor B
Maidstone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2016

Anyone with an interest can visit the lobby of this 11 storey building, small these days, but once the tallest building in the country, and the lobby is fantastic, but to get the best appreciation, pre book a tour.

Thank Bigskip66
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
101 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2016

The Rookery is a magnificent building. Originally built in the 1870s, restored once by Frank Loyd Wright, and then most recently restored in the 1990s. The building is a historical treasure. Stroll into the lobby and enjoy its wonder.

Thank Alan Z
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
59 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2016

This building has great architectural details within and without. The large atrium, done by Frank Lloyd Wright is a great space, but the thing you must see is the aureole staircase, which can only be accessed on an internal tour. Most of these are around lunch on Fridays and one other day, so visit in advance.

1 Thank Michael K

Travelers who viewed The Rookery also viewed


Been to The Rookery? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of The Rookery and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question
Questions? Get answers from The Rookery staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?

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.