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“Frank Lloyd Wright Designed the Renovation of the Atrium”
Review of The Rookery

The Rookery
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US$18.00*
and up
Chicago Walking Tour: Historic Skyscrapers
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US$650.00*
and up
Private Guided SUV Tour for up to 4 Guests
Ranked #57 of 657 things to do in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Set in the heart of Chicago’s financial district, at 209 South LaSalle Street, Daniel Burnham and John Root’s Rookery Building is a Chicago landmark, containing a luminous and brilliantly articulated central light court remodeling by Frank Lloyd Wright.When completed in 1888, The Rookery was one of the most expensive and largest commercial buildings in Chicago, housing more than 600 offices. The building’s name was carried over from a nickname given to the structures that occupied The Rookery site prior to its design. These buildings, Chicago’s temporary city hall and a water tank, were known popularly as “the rookery” because of the many birds that nested there and the likelihood of being “rooked” by the politicians in residence.In 1898, when Frank Lloyd Wright opened his studio in Oak Park, he rented space in The Rookery Building to serve as his downtown Chicago office. In 1905, Wright was commissioned to update the interior design and plan of the light court and lobbies. He realized a stunning balance between Burnham & Root’s ornamental ironwork and his own vision to create a spectacular environment – one of his most dramatic interior compositions.Learn about the building’s fascinating history and the unique contribution of one of America’s greatest architects on the Preservation Trust’s guided tours Monday through Friday at noon.
Reviewed 9 September 2013

We bought the Universal Ticket from the FLW Foundation to get admission to both Robie House and The Rookery, which I'd never actually heard of. If you can schedule your tour on the correct day, you can also see the restored Burnham library upstairs. Tour guide took us up the stairs to the third floor, explaining how Wright had updated Burnham and Root's original design. Covered a lot of the exposed cast iron in marble. A later renovation added more marble but also exposed one side of one cast iron column ... pretty neat. Went across the street to learn more about the building including one theory that it's called The Rookery because of the crows (rooks) carved above the entrance doors ... some say they represent the elected officials of the day 'crowing' at each other. Funny. A don't miss attraction in Chicago, especially for a Wright fan.

2  Thank TO_Trips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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130 - 134 of 250 reviews

Reviewed 1 September 2013

This is a must do attraction in Chicago. You can choose to get in the building, take a few pictures but you will not be allowed to go beypnd the staircase. If you join the tour - there is a ticket office in the lobby on the right - then you benefit from the expertise of a tour guide and and you are allowed to walk up the beautiful staircase.
We were greeted by a fantastic lady who was very passionate about the building and architecture in general. She took us putisde to get a better understanding of the why, how the building had been buolt . Then into the rookery again to show evidence of the stories she was telling us. It only lasted 1 hour and it was very pleasant since the tour is scheduled at 11:30 or midday. So you still have plenty time to walk around the loop or cathc an elevated train and feel you re in a Batman movie!

2  Thank marcdegueurce2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2013

I work just a few steps from this building and while you can get in for free on the first leve, it's worth the small fee for the 45min tour that includes Daniel Burnham's library. Be sure to bring a camera for the beauty shot.. the fantastic conical like staircase you will be treated with. If you've read the book "Devil in the White City" you will be transported!

Thank JRB_Travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2013

Apparently the first "skyscraper" in Chicago. Outside is beautiful. But I was not prepared for the outstanding inner court, remodeled by Frank Lloyd Wright. Same feeling of awe that I have experienced in some japanese temples.

Don't miss the nearby Monadnock Building nearby.

Thank r g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2013

If you decide to visit the Rookery, definitely get a tour!! They are free and totally worth it. I learned so much on it! You do not get to go up the staircase unfortunately but you can get really awesome pictures of it on the tour. The whole building is beautiful. I was so glad I decided to make the trip and do the tour. Highly recommend it!

Thank Alex M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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