Musings of a Museum Fanatic: 7 Buildings You Must See in Chicago's Loop

9.09.2019

7 Buildings You Must See in Chicago's Loop


If there is something that Chicago does amazingly well it's architecture. We are the home of the skyscraper and amazing architects like Frank Lloyd Wright to name just a few of Chicago's architectural achievements. With great architecture there are many buildings that you need to add to your visit list it can be pretty overwhelming. I've got 7 buildings in The Loop that you should make must see if you're visiting or if you've lived in Chicago your entire life. 

Union Station

Open since 1925, Union Station remains Chicago's intercity rail terminal and the largest terminal for commuter trains. It cost $75 million dollars to build, over a billion today. The station's Great Hall is one of my favorite places in the city. It's absolutely stunning, especially after they restored it the last few years. Remember the scene from My Best Friend's Wedding when they were in the train station? That is the Great Hall.

225 S Canal St, Chicago, IL 60606


Chicago Cultural Center

78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602
The Cultural Center started it's life in 1893 as the central Chicago library. In 1977 it was converted to an arts and culture center. It boasts the title of the nation's first free municipal cultural center and you can still enjoy everything it has to offer for that same low price of $0. From exhibits to performing arts to programs there is always something happening at the Cultural Center. The first of two stunning focal points of the Chicago Cultural Center is the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial. With it's pink marble walls, mosaic floors and stained glass dome it's a sight to behold. Only rivaled by the Preston Bradley Hall with it's white marble and 38 foot Tiffany glass dome, the largest Tiffany dome in the world.

78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

Monadnock Building

The Monadnock Building has the honor of being known as the tallest load-bearing brick building ever constructed along with at the time of completion being the tallest office building. The north half of the building was designed by the firm of Burnham & Root and built starting in 1891 while the south half was designed by Holabird & Roche and constructed in 1893. You'll find beautiful details inside and outside of this building from the iron stair rails to the designs in the granite outside.


53 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604

Rookery Building

Designed by Burnham and Root in 1888 the Rookery Building is considered one of their crowning achievements. It is considered the oldest standing high-rises in Chicago. In addition to being the oldest it was a ground breaking structure with it's "floating" foundation to help steady the tall building on the swampy land that comprises Chicago. When you walk into the building you step in the awe inspiring light court with it's twisting staircase. Throughout the years there have been a number of renovations that have only enhanced the beauty instead of taking it away. The first being completed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1907 when he was tasked with renovating the interiors of the building.

209 S LaSalle St, Chicago, IL 60604

Sears Tower

Some people call this building by it's new nick name, Willis Tower but it will always be the Sears Tower. This 110-story building at the time of completion in 1973 became the tallest building in the world. It held the a title for nearly 25 years and it was the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere for 41 years, until 2014 when the new One World Trade Center topped it. It's straight lines make for pretty amazing photographs.

233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606


The Sullivan Center

Originally known as the Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building. It was occupied by Carson's for more than a century!! Fun fact it's always been used for retail purposes and currently is home to Target. The building's northwest entrance with it's ornate rotund features that can be seen from both State and Madison were created with beauty that would make people want to come in and shop.

9 E Madison St, Chicago, IL 60602






The Marshall Field and Company Building

Another famous Chicago building that is for some reason known by another name but will always be Marshall Field's to Chicagoans. Since 2006 it's been the home to Macy's on State Street. This building completed in 1906 takes up an entire city block and clocks in at 13 stories with the store being 7. You'll find two iconic architectural elements. First being Marshall Field's "Great Clock" at the northwest corner of the building at State & Randolph Streets. The second is the gorgeous Louis Comfort Tiffany vaulted ceiling it is the first iridescent glass dome and is the largest glass mosaic of its kind.

111 N State St, Chicago, IL 60602



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