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The Rookery

Certificate of Excellence
Downtown / The Loop
As featured in Highlights of Chicago
Sponsored by:
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Address: 209 S La Salle St, Chicago, IL 60604-1219
Phone Number: 312 553 6150
8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Closed now
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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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Melding of Architecture

The Rookery was included in my Frank Lloyd Wright Around Chicago Bus Tour (also starting/ending point for the tour). While the original architect was a man named Root, FLW did an... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
via mobile
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193 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 164: English reviews
Level Contributor
1,125 reviews
862 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 446 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The Rookery was included in my Frank Lloyd Wright Around Chicago Bus Tour (also starting/ending point for the tour). While the original architect was a man named Root, FLW did an update in 1905 and melded his designs with the original. Then a student of Wright did another update in 1931. The building was restored to the 1910 state of... More 

Thank jehenson81
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
247 reviews
126 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is a gorgeous restored building, be sure to walk inside to the lobby on a weekday and visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. They offer tours and you can read the plagues with the various explanations.

Thank RusPat_704
Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
380 reviews
201 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

My oh my..walk down this area and check out this old highriser. NOTHING to what is being built today with just glass..glass and more glass. This is ART..sculptured! Go inside. Too bad we could only see the lobby area.

Thank Hirlsa H
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
613 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Many revisions to this structure through many styles, but the bones are late 1800s. Just magnificent inside and out.

Thank BatGuano30
Lakewood, Colorado
Level Contributor
90 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We attended a wedding at The Rookery and totally enjoyed it. The Rookery is an absolutely gorgeous venue to have an event with a magnificent marble stairway leading down to a large and spacious room good for hosting a large group of people. The only downside was that we had to go upstairs to use the restroom though they do... More 

Thank jenniferlsylman
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
135 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Went to the cafe and booked on a tour with a friendly informative tourguide who answered questions. Learnt a lot and took photos. Recommend.

Thank s j
Louisville, KY
Level Contributor
388 reviews
166 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This was the last public space created in the Chicago area that we finally were able to view. Granted, he didn't design the building and only redesigned the interior court but what a gem it is. The tour allows you to view three floors not available to those who just come in for a look. It costs $7 a person... More 

1 Thank jgbtravels
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
47 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2016

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 

1 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 August 8, 2016

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 August 2, 2016 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

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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.