The Rookery
The Rookery
209 South LaSalle Street, Chicago
Architects: Burnham and Root
Built 1885-86
High Resolution Post Image Available
Designated a Chicago Landmark 1972 .  See construction details and more history of this site at  Chicago Landmarks.

Postcard not used, but probably dates to 1913-15. Please note that this is an artist's conceptual creation and may not represent true colors.
After the fire of 1871 a dilapidated building which occupied the souteast corner of LaSalle and Adams Streets was used temporarily as City Hall.  The legend is that pigeons became such a nuisance at this location that a Chicago citizen, demanding that the city do something about the problem, called the City Hall a "rookery."  The press adopted that phrase, indicating the unsuitability of the City Hall.  For the new building which took its place at the corner, several names were considered, including The Central Building.  Ultimately, "The Rookery" stuck.

The light court is the heart of this building, giving natural light to the interior offices.  Lacy wrought iron staircases spiral to the top floors.

The citation by the Landmarks Commission reads, "In recognition of its pioneering plan i providing shops and offices around a graceful semi-private square and the further development of the skeleton structural frame using cast iron columns, wrought iron spandrel beams, and steal beams to support party walls and interior floors."

The ground floor of the court was remodeled in 1905 by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Below is a lithograph of the "new" Rookery  from a c1890 souviner album of Chicago

Appears in this Rand McNally 1893 3-D map at the Univ. of Illinois at Chicago:

High Resolution & Corrected Image Available!   Click Below for Information
Vintage Images at Old Places. Org

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