Fisher Building

Fisher Building
  1. About the Fisher Building in Chicago
    1. Building Catalogations
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectureal style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The Fisher Building is a Neogothic skyscraper designed by D. H. Burnham & Company and built between 1927 and 1896 in Chicago, IL.

Its precise street address is 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Chicago, IL. You can also find it on the map here.

The Fisher Building is a structure of significant importance both for the city of Chicago and the United States as a nation. The building embodies the distinctive characteristic features of the time in which it was built and the Neogothic style. Because of that, the Fisher Building was officially declared as a national landmark in 1980, and was included in the National Register of Historic Places on June 29th 1989.

At the time of its completion in 1896 the Fisher Building incorporated solutions that were quite advanced at the time, these included an underground passage that connected de Fishre Buiding with the Cadillac Place located across the street .

The building has been restored 2 times over the years to ensure its conservation and adaptation to the pass of time. The main restoration works happened in 2015 and 2023.

Building's timeline

Construction completed
Construction begins
Declared NL
Added to the NRHP
years ago
  1. 2015 - Hand-painted frescos were restored. The fire suppression system and elevators were upgraded.
  2. 2023 - The exterior, entrances, mechanical systems, elevators and tenant spaces were renovated.

Architect and team

D. H. Burnham & Company was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design. But there was also one other architect involved, as far as we know. We are talking about Joseph Nathaniel.

D. H. Burnham & Company and the other architects already mentioned were 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 Fisher Building a reality:

  • Edward C. Shankland in charge of Structural Engineering
  • Fisher Family as the Main Developer
  • Géza Maróti, Corrado Parducci, Anthony De Lorenzo and Ulysses Ricci as the collaborating Artist

Architectural Style

The Fisher Building can be categorized as a Neogothic building.

The Neo-Gothic style, also known as Gothic Revival, emerged in the United States during the late 19th century, taking inspiration from the Gothic architecture found in Europe from centuries prior.

The Gothic Revival movement took elements characteristic of the Gothic buildings, such as pointed architect, ribbed vaults and flying buttresses, and applied them to newer buildings, even those belonging to typologies that did not exist during the original Gothic period, such as skyscrapers.

Neg-Gothic buildings usually feature pinnacles, gargoyles and other decorative elements that emphasize the verticality of the structure, and include stonework that features the craftsmanship of skilled artisans of the time.

The Fisher Building was completed in 1896. These were the late days of the Neogothic movement, which had been around for almost 200 years at the time.

Art-deco would soon take over US architecture, and therefore, even though D. H. Burnham & Company didn't venture into what was cutting edge in terms of style at the time, and took instead a more conservative approach to the design of the Fisher Building, it is possible that the design already started showing some traits that would later become characteristic of the art-deco movement.

Spaces & Uses

The Fisher Building reaches an architectural height of 443ft (135m), 489ft (149m) if you count the antenna, with the last accesible floor being 341ft (104m) off the gorund. It has a total of 30 floors, served by 20 elevators. In total, it has a built-up area of 486,991 sqf (45,243m2) offering 177,992 sqf (16,536m2) of usable space.

In regards to parking space, the building has a total of 964 spots available, which roughly equals 32 spots per floor (above ground), or one parking spot per every 183 sqf (17m2) of usable space.


489ft (149m)
443ft (135m)
341ft (104m)

Materials & Structure

The Fisher 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.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features Minnesota pink marble and Oriental granite cladding the first three floors, and Beaver Dam marble and Carthage marble on the streets fronts. The marble was cut and positioned in a way that would give varying textures across the exterior.

Other materials found at the Fisher Building include, green tiles, used for the buikding's hipped roof, bronze, seen in windows frames, elevator doors and exterior-interior ornamentation, and marble, found in walls and floors. The types of marble used include: Golden-Vein Tavernelle from Tennesse, Cardiff Green from Maryland, Carthage from Missouri, Verdi antique from Veermont, Mar Villa from Maryland, red marble from Germany, green from Austria, brown & black from Belgium, black & gold from France, white & black from Italy and rose from Spain.