Chicago Landmarks

Monadnock Block

View from Dearborn St.     Address: 53 W. Jackson Blvd.
Year Built: North half, 1889-91; South half, 1891-93
Architect: Burnham & Root , Holabird & Roche
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: November 14, 1973

Southern section, Dearborn St. elevation Northern section, Dearborn St. elevation The two halves of this building provide a unique perspective for examining the history and development of modern architecture. The north part of the structure--famed for its lack of traditional ornamentation--is carried load-bearing masonry walls with six-foot thick walls at the base. It was the last skyscraper to employ this method of construction. The south addition, on the other hand, is an early example of steel-frame construction, its underlying structure revealed through narrow piers and wide windows. Together, they mark the end of one building tradition and the beginning of another.