Chicago Landmarks

Rookery Building

LaSalle and Adams Streets     Address: 209 S. LaSalle St.
Year Built: 1885 - 1888 Lobby remodeled 1905-07
Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright , Burnham & Root
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: July 5, 1972

Masonry details The powerful exterior of this building, which is softened by lively ornament detailed by architect John Root, typifies the lingering picturesque attitudes toward commercial architecture still prevalent in the 1880s. A transitional structure in the evolution of modern architecture, the Rookery Building employs both load-bearing masonry walls and skeletal frame construction techniques. It takes its name from a temporary City Hall and water tank that stood on the site following the Fire of 1871. A favorite roost for pigeons, these structures were referred to as "the rookery." When Frank Lloyd Wright remodeled the Rookery's large skylit lobby in 1905, he introduced elements characteristic of his Prairie School designs.