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Chicago IL ~ Rookery Building [1887] ~ Front Entrance
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Image by Onasill ~
The Rookery was built in 1887–1888 by the architectural partnership of Daniel H. Burnham and John Wellborn Root, known as Burnham and Root. In the architectural boom that followed the Great Chicago Fire, architects in what would become known as the Chicago School of commercial architecture competed with each other to create the world’s first true skyscrapers. By mixing modern building techniques, such as metal framing, fireproofing, elevators and plate glass, together with traditional ones, such as brick facades and elaborate ornamentation, Burnham and Root sought to create a bold architectural statement. At the same time, they intended their buildings to be commercially successful. This building is one of the few results of their partnership that is still standing.
Beginning in the early 20th century, the building underwent three major renovations. In the first, from 1905 to 1907, Frank Lloyd Wright was retained to remake the interior spaces. In keeping with contemporary tastes, Wright’s design covered Root’s elaborate wrought iron finishes with white carved Carrara marble surfaces. Nearing the peak of his fame, Wright’s changes brought enhanced status to the building, making the Rookery one of the most sought after buildings in all of Chicago. Some of Wright’s other changes included incorporating simplified ironwork and adding planters as well as light fixtures.
Burnham & Root; Frank Lloyd Wright; William Drummond; et al.
Architectural style:
Governing body:
NRHP Reference#:
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
U.S. National Historic Landmark
Chicago Landmark

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