The Rookery

One of the most celebrated buildings in a city of celebrated buildings is The Rookery. There are many reasons for this status. One is because it’s one of the oldest surviving high-rises in downtown Chicago. Another is its innovative foundation, which has kept it upright despite being planted on a muddy morass. There’s also the beauty of the building itself, with its multicultural influences and fanciful decorations, but perhaps most importantly, it’s celebrated because of the gentlemen who designed it.

The Rookery has a powerful presence. As Ira J. Bach said in Chicago’s Famous Buildings, published in 1965: “It stands there like a stronghearted and cheerful person, forceful yet friendly.”

“Forceful yet friendly” could well be used to describe architect Daniel Burnham, and “stronghearted and cheerful” his relationship with his partner, John Root. The pair, although very different, were well suited to each other and left behind one of the most, well, celebrated architectural legacies in Chicago.

Read more about this landmark in Living Landmarks of Chicago.

Completed: 1888
Architects: Burnham & Root
Address: 209 S. LaSalle St

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Sources for The Rookery Building

This is a selection of specific sources used to provide details while researching this landmark. Additional sources, including books and websites, can be found on the Resources page.

  • American Institute of Architects. Bulletin of the American Institute of Architects. Washington: American Institute of Architects, 1947-1957.
  • City of Chicago Landmark Designation Report
  • Encyclopedia of Chicago
  • Moore, Charles, 1855-1942. Daniel H. Burnham, Architect, Planner of Cities. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1921.
  • National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form

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