209 S. LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 312-553-6150
In Devil in the White City:
“On Tuesday February 24, 1891, Burnham, Olmstead, Hunt and the other architects gathered in the library on the top floor of the Rookery to present drawings of the fair’s main structures to the grounds and Building committee.” Page 113
In Real Life:
So – I thought it would be cool to go check out the library of the Rookery Building where the Columbian World’s Exposition architects met to go over the plans. I found the Rookery Building – it’s still around – but the guard wouldn’t let me upstairs. So, I walked around the lobby and checked it out. Daniel Burnham and John Root built it together and when it was completed in 1888 – they used it as their offices. The Rookery – it’s said – is one of the first green buildings ever built because its focal point is a central open space which allows sunlight to do its thing. The lobby – which is a pretty awesome display of metal work – is not the work of Burnham and Root. It was remodeled by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1905. These days the building is used for offices and events like weddings.
As for the name – it dates back to 1871 – when the site was a temporary city hall and it becamse a favorite roost for pigeons and crows – thus the name – the Rookery. After Burnham and Root built their offices they considered many names but the Rookery won out.