Chicago Board of Trade Building

Chicago Board Of Trade Building
  1. About the Chicago Board of Trade Building in Chicago
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectureal style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The Chicago Board of Trade Building is an Art-deco skyscraper designed by Holabird & Root and built in 1939, for a reported $11.3 million dollars, in Chicago, IL.

Its precise street address is 141 W. Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL. You can also find it on the map here.

The building has been restored 3 times over the years to ensure its conservation and adaptation to the pass of time. The main restoration works happened in 1981, 1997 and 2005.

Building's timeline

Design begins
Construction completed
years ago
  1. 1980 to 1981 - Addition. The architect in charge was Murphy/Jahn.
  2. 1997 - Addition. The architect in charge was Fujikawa Johnson and Associates.
  3. 2005 - Renovation. The architect in charge was Harboe Architects.

Architect and team

Holabird & Root was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

The studio was founded in Chicago in 1880, and even though it has changed names several times, the firm has evolved and is still active more than a century later.

The firm has played an important role in shaping the skyline of the windy city, and in the overall development of modern architecture in the United States.

The studio has evolved and adapted to the passage of time, from its rise with the Art Deco movement, to embracing the Modern style, and currently introducing sustainability into their designs.

Holabird Root

Holabird & Root was in charge of the architectural design, however, architecture is a complex discipline, which usually involves many professionals from different fields, without whom this building would have not been possible. We will surely be leaving out a lot of names here, but here is a list of the people we do know also played their part in making the Chicago Board of Trade Building a reality:

  • Hegeman & Harris as the Main Contractor
  • Otis as the company in charge of the elevators system

Architectural Style

The Chicago Board of Trade Building can be categorized as an Art-deco building.

The Art Deco movement flourished during the 1920s and 1930s, with many historians marking the outbreak of World War II as its final decline. Even though a couple of decades might not seem as much, the Art Deco movement had a great impact on architecture, and it's widely represented in many American cities due to the development boom that happened during that time.

Art Deco marked the abandonment of traditional historicism and the embracement of modern living and the age of the machine. In architecture, that meant leaving behind the ornaments of Beux-Arts and Neo-Gothic buildings and instead favoring simplicity and visual impact through geometric shapes, clean lines, and symmetrical designs. Ornaments were still an important part of the design, but they became bold and lavish, and were often inspired by ancient cultures or industrial imagery, instead of nature.

The Chicago Board of Trade Building was designed in 1925, right when the Art Deco movement was at its peak, so it kind of went with the trend at that time.

Spaces & Uses

The Chicago Board of Trade Building reaches an architectural height of 604ft (184m). It has a total of 44 floors, served by 23 elevators.

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 1939, the Chicago Board of Trade Building has mainly been used as Commercial space.

604ft (184m)

Materials & Structure

The Chicago Board of Trade Building uses a frame structure made of steel columns and concrete slabs.

A frame structure uses a combination of beams and columns to sustain the building's weight. The walls in this case are non-load bearing, which allows for more flexibility when distributing the interior spaces.

The facade is non-load bearing either, as it is common in frame structure type buildings.