Essential Architecture-  Chicago Loop South

Rookery Building


Original structure, Burnham and Root ; Lobby, Frank Lloyd Wright


209 S. LaSalle St.


1885-88; Lobby remodeled 1905-07


Romanesque Revival  exterior, lobby Prairie School


Stone clad


Office Building
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 masonry wall-bearing 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.


With special thanks to the City of Chicago website, , for much of the info on this page.
Photos copyright City of Chicago.