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The Rookery

Certificate of Excellence
Downtown / The Loop
As featured in Highlights of Chicago
Sponsored by:
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Address: 209 S. LaSalle St., Chicago, IL 60604
Phone Number:
+1 312-553-6150
08:00 - 18:00
Closed now
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Mon - Fri 08:00 - 18:00
Sat 08:00 - 14:00

Set in the heart of Chicago’s financial district, at 209 South LaSalle...

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.

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Private Guided SUV Tour for up to 4 Guests

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 206 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 112
  • 49
    Very good
  • 6
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Private Tour

We reserved spots online before we traveled to Chicago. We ended up having a private tour of the public parts of the building with a good history of the building and Chicago... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
Columbus, Ohio
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206 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 173: English reviews
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We reserved spots online before we traveled to Chicago. We ended up having a private tour of the public parts of the building with a good history of the building and Chicago thrown in. This building is stunning and worth seeing.

Thank kwetherholt8277
Streamwood, Illinois
Level Contributor
96 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is one of the many, many beautiful buildings that Chicago has to offer but to realize that splendor you have to go inside. So many beautiful buildings in Chicago look plain on the outside but hold treasures on the inside. This is one of them. It is one of the most historically significant building in Chicago. Designed by Burnham... More 

Thank maisoui_27
Wilmette, Illinois
Level Contributor
101 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I'd heard about this building during a presentation put on by a local architecture historian and knew that I'd need to see it, so when we took the train in a couple of weeks ago, my wife and I walked on over to take a look. This was the first building in Chicago built as a modern (brick over a... More 

Thank MikeGPortland
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
410 reviews
170 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2016

The building is wonderful. Go in and walk around the atrium. You will only take a few min. away from your busy schedule but will see what beauty that was Architecture in the late 1800s. You also get to see Frank Lloyd Wrights addition( the canopy) in the 20s I think? I never walk by without going in for 5... More 

1 Thank john b
Level Contributor
205 reviews
125 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2016

The lobby was designed by Frank Loyd Wright. If you love buildings . . This is on your list. Built in 1886.

Thank Todd A
Thornhill, Canada
Level Contributor
343 reviews
128 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2016 via mobile

Beautiful building that it s free to visit within the lobby or can arrange for a tour which would be more informative than just looking at the beauty of this Frank Lloyd Wright design

Thank Kulbi
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
269 reviews
119 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2016

I'm a huge fan of Frank Lloyd Wright. I only wish I could have seen all of his properties through Chicago, especially his first studio. The Rookery though was quite special. Wright worked there in 1905 and was hired to update the place. He removed much of the iron and terra cotta detailing on the central staircase, balconies, and walls,... More 

Thank Kristen H
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2016

Frank Loyd Wright redid the inner could yard,/. the tour is great and the only way you can visit the stunning staircase.

Thank Bert T
Dayton, Ohio
Level Contributor
49 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 October 2016

Home of the Frank Llyod Wright Trust. This building has wonderful architectural details that are available for free public view in the lobby. For a small fee ($10 when I was there) you can take a guided tour of the first 2 floors.

1 Thank Rlpteach
Level Contributor
1,399 reviews
1,081 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 488 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 September 2016 via mobile

The Rookery was included in my Frank Lloyd Wright Around Chicago Bus Tour (also starting/ending point for the tour). While the original architect was a man named Root, FLW did an update in 1905 and melded his designs with the original. Then a student of Wright did another update in 1931. The building was restored to the 1910 state of... More 

1 Thank jehenson81

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Staying in Downtown / The Loop

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Downtown / The Loop
Often visitors' first stop in Chicago, The Loop is a good starting point to sample the city's energy and flavor. This central business district boasts Michelin-rated restaurants, upscale hotels, premier shopping, and enough arresting architecture to keep your camera busy for hours. You won’t find too many photo galleries of downtown Chicago without a shot of Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. A stunning skyline coupled with cultural attractions like the Art Institute of Chicago present a Downtown where work and play peacefully coexist.
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