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Major Chicago Office Buildings

Board of Trade

Major Chicago Office Buildings

The Chicago Board of Trade is located in the Loop on West Jackson Boulevard in the heart of the downtown financial district. The exchange is where stockbrokers and other public organizations have traded options and done business since 1930. The iconic building was designed by famous architects Holabird and Root in Art Deco style and is most recognized for its large, 31-foot-tall statue of the Roman goddess Ceres on the roof. The building’s unique positioning (where LaSalle Street jogs) appears to dead-end at the Board of Trade’s main entrance, affording a prestigious full-front view of the tower no other high-rise in Chicago can claim.

Inside the building, the Pit is where all the action happens. This open floor, octagon-shaped trading space is filled with electronic tickertape updates and shouting, hand-waving traders whose energy and volume rival that of any sports arena or late-night dance club in the city. This is where much of Chicago’s stock exchange takes place and stockholders grow rich or fall flat from day-by-day buying and selling. There is an observation area where outside visitors can view the Pit and try to make sense of all commotion going on below. The 44-story landmark Board of Trade building remains a distinctive symbol of Chicago’s economic health and the gorgeous architecture has been immortalized in many books, calendars, postcards and movies throughout the years.

Prudential Plaza

Prudential Plaza is made up of two separate towers, one built in 1955 and another that was completed in 1990. One Prudential Plaza has 41 floors and at the time of its construction, it was considered a radical advancement from the typical office building with high-speed elevators and extensive indoor parking facilities. The second tower is much taller, rising 64 stories with an 80-foot spire shooting out of its peaked pyramid roofline. The two buildings are connected through the lobbies. Like its older sister, “2 Pru” won awards for its innovative design and forward-thinking structural engineering.    

City Hall

Chicago City Hall serves as the main government center and its floors are occupied by offices for various levels of city officials and departments. It is located in the Loop, across from the Daley Center, and has been around since 1911. In addition to operating as the seat of city government (which takes place in the west half of the building), the 11-story structure also houses Cook County workers in the east side. The classical revival-style architecture with large columns and white stone façade gives City Hall an antiquated appearance, which is offset by some of its innovative features. For example, Chicago City Hall is equipped with a green roof, installed in 2001 to test the effectiveness of various types of rooftop gardens on the urban environment. The specially designed roof vegetation works to reduce rainwater runoff and insulates against outdoor temperatures to improve energy efficiency.  

Sears Tower

No other office building in Chicago is as identifiable as the Sears Tower. It is the epitome of downtown office life and accommodates the modern businessperson with everything from meeting facilities and state-of-the-art conference rooms to full-service banks and delivery services. The amount of rentable square footage in this 110-story high-rise is around 3.8 million and there’s also an executive parking garage with 160 spaces for all those corporate VIPs and CEO types. Where there aren’t rows of cubicles and corner offices with premium views of the skyline, the Sears Tower tries to anticipate every need of the busy office-worker by providing convenient personal services. Employees can get in a workout at the fitness center, get their hair cut at the salon, have their teeth cleaned at the dentist, pick up a gift at the florist, grab a latte at the coffee shop, or eat a meal at one of the sit-down restaurants.

Tribune Tower

The Tribune Tower is one of Chicago’s main media centers with offices for every media outlet from print to broadcast. Most know that the gothic-looking building by the river on North Michigan Avenue is the headquarters for the Chicago Tribune Newspaper, but what you may not have realized is that eighty-year-old structure also houses a number of other prominent news groups. WGN Radio has studios in the Tribune Tower and broadcasts from there, plus the Chicago bureau of CNN is situated in the 36-story building. A cool fact about the Tribune Tower: Stones from around the world are imbedded into the lower levels of the edifice, including rocks from the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall, the Alamo and the Redwood National Forest.   

AT&T Corporate Center 227 West Monroe
Board of Trade 141 West Jackson
Chicago Cultural Center 78 East Washington
City Hall 121 North La Salle
Daley Center Randolph & Clark
Dearborn Station 47 West Polk
Dirksen Federal Building 219 South Dearborn
Federal Reserve Bank 401 North Michigan
IBM Plaza 303 North Wabash
John Hancock Center 875 North Michigan
Lake Point Tower 600 East Grand
Merchandise Mart 250 W. Bank of Chicago
North Pier 435 East Illinois
Main Post Office 433 West Harrison
Prudential 160 East Randolph
Sears Tower 233 South Wacker
State of Illinois Center 100 West Randolph
Tribune Tower 435 North Michigan
Water Tower Place 845 North Michigan