Chicago Landmarks

Lake-Franklin Group

Franklin St. elevation     Address: 227-235 W. Lake St. and 173-191 N. Franklin St.
Year Built: 1872 - 1875 1896, addition for 233 W./175 N.
Architect: Burling & Adler , George H. Edbrooke
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: February 26, 1997

Lake St. elevation As the oldest remaining buildings in the Loop, this commercial block represents a rare example of what downtown Chicago looked like when it rebuilt from the Fire of 1871. These early-Victorian era buildings exhibit many of the distinctive features of post-Fire architecture, including cast-iron columns, incised stonework, decorative window hoods, and arched window openings. Located just one block from the Chicago River, this intact group of "mercantile loft" structures is one of the last remnants of the city's wholesaling district, an area that was integral to Chicago's status in the late-19th century as the world's largest market for grain, lumber, livestock, and provisions. The early occupants of these buildings represent a compendium of period wholesalers: a tannery and leather dealer, a manufacturer of iron and woodworking machinery, a sandstone company, a steam heating company, mitten and hat manufacturers, and a corner saloon.