chicago board of trade

Project Information

Although the building has been well maintained since its construction and retains a high level of historic integrity, some insensitive alterations had been made to the lobbies and the building was in need of renovations and improved lighting. In 2004, Harboe Architects personnel, then working for McClier, began renovation efforts that would restore the Art Deco splendor of the lobbies, improve elevator operations and modernize various building systems. Challenges for the preservation team included recreating missing light fixtures and nickel silver metal features, integrating fire protection systems into the restored lobbies and highlighting the architecture with improved lighting. Historic documents and finish analysis were used to accurately restore the lobbies. The award winning project was completed in 2007 under the guidance of Austin/AECOM with Harboe Architects as Preservation Architect. Harboe Architects also provided project management services for the exterior restoration and Federal Tax Credit Program consulting.  

Title Chicago Board of Trade
Work Completed Lobby restoration and exterior rehabilitation
Date Completed 2006
Client Chicago Board of Trade Building
Location Chicago, Illinois
Architect of Record Austin/AECOM

Photos by James Caulfield

Located at the highly visible terminus of LaSalle Street, the Chicago Board of Trade is considered to be one of the finest Art Deco style buildings in Chicago. Built in 1929 and designed by Holabird and Root, the building features a limestone exterior with the quintessential setbacks of the style and carved stone ornament. At the top of the 42-story tower is a pyramidal metal roof topped by an aluminum statue of Ceres, the Roman Goddess of agriculture. The interior features a series of dramatic lobbies with six varieties of marble, nickel silver metal trim and ornamental plaster. The main lobby is a three-story arcaded space with nickel silver storefronts, balconies, marble piers and walls and a luminous ceiling. All of the lobbies were illuminated by stylized fixtures with nickel silver frames and translucent glass. Due to its significance for architecture and its association with trading, the building is a National Historic Landmark and a City of Chicago Landmark.