Famous Loop Architecture USA

Willis Tower
Yes, you're at the right place. Willis Tower was the Sears Tower until mid 2009, when insurance broker Willis Group Holdings bought the naming rights. No matter what you call it, it's still the USA's tallest building (1454ft), and its 103rd floor Skydeck puts visitors way up in the clouds.

Location (Click photo)
Enter via Jackson Blvd, then take the elevator down to the waiting area, where you go through security and pay admission. Queues can be up to an hour on busy days (peak times are in summer, between 11am to 4pm Friday through Sunday). There's a factoid filled film to watch, and then the ear popping, 70 second ride to the top. Step onto the glass floored Ledge for a feeling of mid air suspension and knee buckling view straight down. For those who prefer a drink with their vista, the Gold Coast's John Hancock Center is a better choice.

Monadnock Building

The North half of the Monadnock was John Wellborn Root’s last and boldest design. Root caught pneumonia and died at the age of 41, while the building was under construction.  At the time of his death, in addition to running Chicago’s largest architectural practice, John Root and Daniel Burnham were responsible for the design and construction of the World’s Columbian Exposition, which was to open the following year. Root’s death forced Burnham to concentrate his energies on the Exposition, so when the north half of the Monadnock rented quickly and its owners decided to build the south half right away, they commissioned another firm to design it: Holabird & Roche, the second largest practice in the City. 

Location (Click Photo)
The two halves of the building are similar in scale and color, but quite different in style. The north half is often called a fountainhead of modern architecture because of its total absence of exterior ornament. Root evidently felt that all that was needed here was graceful form for the structure itself. The south half of the building, on the other hand, is a masterful early application of classical architectural principles to the design of a tall building.

Front View, From Street

The Monadnock also marks a historic transition in the development of structural methods. Most of the buildings that preceded it were supported by their outside walls. The north half of the Monadnock is probably the tallest building ever built that is supported primarily by brick walls.  At ground level, those walls are six feet thick. Half of the south half of the building is built the same way, but the south quarter of the building is supported entirely by a steel frame, as were most of the tall buildings that followed it. Today, this is called “curtain wall” construction: the façade doesn’t support the building, it’s just a “curtain” to keep out the elements. 

The Monadnock was designed so that it could operate as four separate office buildings.  Each section stands on its own lot, and at one time each section had its own entrance, elevators, heating system and name: from north to south, they were the Monadnock, the Kearsarge, the Katahdin, and the Wachusett, each the name of a Union navy ship and also the name of a mountain in the developers’ native New England.

The Rookery Building

As one of the most historically significant buildings in Chicago, The Rookery is a unique enclave for businesses that value a prestigious presence. An icon in the center of Chicago's downtown Financial District, The Rookery seamlessly combines the flair of an era gone by with state-of-the-art building systems and technology. Designated a Chicago Landmark in 1972 after being added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970, The Rookery is universally considered an architectural masterpiece.

Location (Click Photo)
Designed by famous architectural partners Burnham and Root, the picturesque Rookery was originally completed in 1888. Adding to its impressive stature, Frank Lloyd Wright redesigned the stunning two story, skylit lobby in 1905. Meticulously renovated and maintained, The Rookery stands as one of the most highly recognized addresses in all of Chicago.

Download PDF Map(Click photo)
The Rookery is nestled in the midst of a bustling financial core and one block from the Chicago Board of Trade, W Hotel, Club Quarters Hotel, Federal Reserve Building, Federal District, and countless restaurants and retailers to suit your occasion. Access is excellent with public transportation stations within easy walking distance. 

The Rookery is one of Chicago's most sought after buildings. Tenants enjoy the building’s rich historical significance and its state-of-the-art systems and technologies. The large exterior windows and exposure to the magnificent light court provide abundant natural light to the office spaces. We invite you to visit The Rookery and to become a part of Chicago’s beloved icon.

Celebrate your special occasion amidst the gallantry of The Rookery. You and your guests will be delighted by the timeless beauty of Frank Lloyd Wright's masterful designs within the building's Light Court. The ambiance at The Rookery cannot be matched.


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