The Rookery Building
The Rookery Building
4.5
Historic SitesPoints of Interest & LandmarksArchitectural Buildings
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
About
The Rookery tours are not available at this time. (Updated 6/2/20) Set in the heart of Chicago’s financial district, Daniel Burnham and John Root’s 1888 Rookery Building is a Chicago landmark, containing one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most dramatic interior compositions – a luminous and brilliantly articulated central light court. In 1905, Wright was commissioned to remodel the Rookery light court and lobbies. He realized a stunning balance between Burnham & Root’s ornamental ironwork and his own vision to create a spectacular environment. Morning and afternoon guided tours are offered by the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust Monday through Friday. Learn about the building’s fascinating history and the unique contribution of one of America’s greatest architects.
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: 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.
How to get there
  • Quincy • 3 min walk
  • Jackson • 3 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • Gran Boo
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Loved Chicago
    First time in Chicago and had a wonderful experience. Minibus tour, architectural river cruise, Gibson's Steakhouse, Pizzeria Portofino - all in one beautiful day. Would love to see many of the museums.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 10, 2023
  • Betty
    2,879 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Gorgeous architecture!
    We love to visit this building when we are in the area. The atrium and staircase are stunning. Most of the building is roped off but you can pay for a tour to see more. Even without the tour, it is worth a visit to enjoy the amazing architecture.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 30, 2023
  • joaniemaria
    Eldridge, Iowa4,704 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We enjoyed taking this tour. Beautiful architecture.
    We booked a tour on a weekday to see this hidden gem. We enjoyed the stories and information about the Rookery. The staircase is the star here. The lobby is beautiful architecture highlighting Frank Lloyd Wright’s design. There is a small FLW store here, too. It is worth a look.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written April 25, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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joaniemaria
Eldridge, IA4,704 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
We booked a tour on a weekday to see this hidden gem. We enjoyed the stories and information about the Rookery. The staircase is the star here. The lobby is beautiful architecture highlighting Frank Lloyd Wright’s design. There is a small FLW store here, too. It is worth a look.
Written April 25, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Betty
2,879 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
We love to visit this building when we are in the area. The atrium and staircase are stunning. Most of the building is roped off but you can pay for a tour to see more. Even without the tour, it is worth a visit to enjoy the amazing architecture.
Written August 30, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gran Boo
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023
First time in Chicago and had a wonderful experience. Minibus tour, architectural river cruise, Gibson's Steakhouse, Pizzeria Portofino - all in one beautiful day. Would love to see many of the museums.
Written July 10, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MarkWalter
Ambler, PA48 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
The Rookery is a free Chicago experience that only takes 15 minutes to see. I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys great architecture.
Written July 4, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Leslie M
10 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
At some point in my trip planning I was told you didn't need to get advance reservations. This perhaps is true usually but this was the weekend of the Frank Lloyd Wright Housewalk so there was a lot of interest in the building. To be safe get advance reservations for the tour! Go to flwright.org for tour availability. Without reservations we were still able to see the lobby which is wonderful. Information is posted in the lobby so you can get the history and the understanding of what FLW changed from the original lobby. Well worth the visit!
Written May 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sally G
Northamptonshire, UK18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Solo
Only cost 💲 12 & this goes towards upkeep. Lynn tour guide was engaging & knowledgeable. Tour lasts just over 30 mins, really interesting. Also suggested the free money museum opposite. Well worth it
Written May 19, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Taylor B
Chicago, IL8,228 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
How many buildings in Chicago can claim that they were designed by renowned architects Daniel Burnham and John Wellborn Root with a lobby remodeled by Frank Lloyd Wright? When was the last time you visited The Rookery Building? Located at 209 South La Salle Street in Chicago's Loop, it is 181 feet in height, 12 stories tall, and is considered a masterpiece of architecture, the oldest standing high-rise building in Chicago. It has a unique construction style featuring exterior load-bearing walls and an interior steel frame, providing a transition between accepted and new building techniques, including brick facade, metal framing, fireproofing, elevators and plate glass. Completed in 1888, The Rookery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970, designated a Chicago Landmark in 1972 and listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1975. Why the nickname? Because of the crows and pigeons that flocked to its exterior, as well as the alleged corrupt politicians who called it home. Several other names were suggested but The Rookery stuck. One of the most significant features of the building is the prodigious use of light and ornamentation. Burnham and Root designed a revolutionary two-story central light court to serve as the focal point for the entire building and provide daylight to interior offices. Wright, then a young architectural assistant with Adler and Sullivan, received a commission to redesign the lobby, which already was considered the grandest in the city. He recast the entryway in his Prairie style and added a sense of modernity through his simple but effective lighting design. He also added a sense of luxury to the lobby's steel-laden interior by adding white marble with Persian-style ornamentation. The building also is known for its semi-circular staircase west of the light court. But you don't have to tour the interior of the building to be impressed. The red marble and granite, terra cotta and brick facade is a combination of Roman Revival and Queen Anne styles that embraces Richardsonian Romanesque architecture.
Written May 18, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DutchNellieNel
Toronto, Canada4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
I got a private tour (by accident) through the Rookery by Jennifer from the FrankLloydWright Foundation and man, was I one lucky chic. Not only the dazzling beauty of this building is impressive; the story about the construction and its constructors/architects etc is just as impressive. Thanks so much to Jennifer; She made this tour an experience to never forget.
Written December 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JKW3
Livermore, CA774 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022
What a phenomenal building with such an interesting history. Make sure to schedule a tour ahead of time, otherwise you're only going to see the ground floor on your own. Jennifer was our tour guide, and she shared so much fascinating history about the building!

Also, there are just a couple of days where the tour goes all the way up into Burnham & Root's office space (where the 1893 World's Fair was designed). I think it might've been Wednesdays and Saturdays . . . we weren't lucky enough to be there on the right day for that extra perk.
Written September 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Eric T
Detroit, MI103 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
For photographers and lovers of architecture, this is a tour for you. I reccomend taking the tour of the building so you can get a upclose and personal experience of the buildings design. Its only open during M-F so arrainge for a tour to get to the upper levels.
Written August 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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The Rookery Building - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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