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The Rookery Building Atrium #1

Posted by
Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 12 November 2019 in Architecture and Portfolio.

View of the Rookery Building's Atrium space as you look north toward the entrance beyond the bank of elevators. An oriel staircase you see that lands on the mezzanine level of the atrium space. Before the major renovation undertaken by McClier Architects in 1988, the atrium had undergone extensive change in prior decades. Maintenance trumped natural light aesthetics, and the skylight of the Atrium was covered with waterproofing and paint. Most of the previously translucent surfaces, like the windows, were also painted over. These changes transformed the space, robbing it of its airy, fanciful atmosphere that once made the Rookery unique. In subsequent years the skylight was tarred over and painted many times which transformed the light-filled space to an illuminated cave.

McClier restored the court’s glass ceiling, protecting it and the light well by installing a new skylight at roof level. In essence, a skylight above a skylight. They also uncovered original mosaic floor fragments, from which they extrapolated a new overall design for the floor.

My visit to The Rookery on March 28, 2019 was compromised by the atrium space being occupied by planners preparing the space for a wedding two days later. So I present to you a shot from my archives taken in 2011. Much of the space looks exactly the same eight years later.

Photo captured March 8, 2011.

SONY DSLR-A300 1/30 second F/3.5 ISO 200 27 mm (35mm equiv.)

New photos posted on most Mondays through Thursdays.
All photos are copyrighted and may not be reproduced or distributed without my expressed, written consent.

Spotlight Images

By Marie from Entre By-Marie et Montagnes, France

The canopy and sculptures on the balcony and stairs are absolutely superb. Very nice framing too

12 Nov 2019 5:10am

Jypyä Pop from Turku, Finland

It is stunning

12 Nov 2019 6:09am

yoshimiparis from France

The design of this corbelled staircase is absolutely superb. The angle of view of your image is perfect

12 Nov 2019 7:02am

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

Wow, this is a fabulous space. A fantastic photo.

12 Nov 2019 7:19am

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

Very impressive . . it all but looks alive !

12 Nov 2019 8:05am

Roland Theys from gerpinnes, Belgium

fabulous space, great architecture, i like it!
Nice day to you Steven

12 Nov 2019 8:06am

Pascale MD from Occitanie, France

Très bel espace et de superbes rampes de dentelles de fer forgé.
Bonne journée Steven

12 Nov 2019 8:14am

jpla from St Barthélémy, France


12 Nov 2019 8:29am

Martine Girard from Brest, France

Bel endroit luxueux.

12 Nov 2019 8:29am

Shaun from Massachusetts, United States

A magnificent look inside this excellent building Steven. Superb light and color.

12 Nov 2019 10:38am

Hiro from Kyoto, Japan

Nice warm atmosphere !

12 Nov 2019 11:29am

Devi from Chennai, India

A stunning interior..beautiful light !

12 Nov 2019 2:26pm

willy from Belgium

quel beau travail architectural Steven

un vrai régal pour les yeux

bonne journée

12 Nov 2019 2:49pm

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

Lovely warm light and beautiful view.

12 Nov 2019 3:02pm

Nicou from Sion, Switzerland

Quel intérieur de classe fantastique image
Belle soirée

12 Nov 2019 3:06pm

Lougris from Toulouse, France

WOW ! vraiment impressionnant !!

12 Nov 2019 3:11pm

Existence Artistique from Angers, France


12 Nov 2019 3:44pm

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

Beautiful capture of this lovely space. painting over the skylight. what a bizarre thing to do

12 Nov 2019 4:25pm

Adela Fonts from Barcelona, Spain

Interesting explanation. Thanks you very much. The image is wonderful.

12 Nov 2019 4:54pm

Dreams come true from Utrecht, Netherlands

Great and beautiful architecture.
A fantastic picture with the warm light.

12 Nov 2019 5:08pm

London Caller from United Kingdom

This kinda of design is actually very Victorian.
Especially the Islamic geometric patterns to the staircase metalwork.

12 Nov 2019 7:37pm

Ralf Kesper from Fröndenberg, Germany

Very nice art-deco style.

12 Nov 2019 8:12pm

sherri from Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

such a beautiful structure

12 Nov 2019 8:25pm

Mhelene from Villiers-sur-Marne, France

Very beautiful . I am glad you had another photo from before to show us this superb place !

12 Nov 2019 8:29pm

tataray from Charentes-Poitou, France

Absolument féerique. Prise merveilleuse Steven.

12 Nov 2019 8:50pm

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

Superb composition and tones.

12 Nov 2019 10:00pm

Michael Rawluk from Williams Lake, BC, Canada

Wow. That is an ornate bit of beauty.

12 Nov 2019 11:00pm

Elaine Hancock from Olney, United States

This is just magnificent. So much attention to detail. The architecture and the interior is stunning.

13 Nov 2019 12:13am

Rose from United States

I was so hoping you would show more...I tell you I came back yesterday and looked and looked at that entrance. This place is so beautiful. An amazing place.

13 Nov 2019 12:29am

@Rose: You will be seeing a lot more photos of this place. :-)

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

Beautiful atrium. It's very elegant.

13 Nov 2019 1:24am

Elizabeth Buckalew from Flagstaff, United States

Gosh this is so beautiful! What amazing light it now has - so nice that it's been restored! That suspended walk way / staircase is fabulous!

13 Nov 2019 1:36am

Harry from Apex, NC, United States

spot on perspective in this luxury interior shot. amazing detail in recording - I wonder though whether the overall gold/yellow tone is as you saw it or a white balance selection.

13 Nov 2019 2:06am

Anna Cherer from LA ROCHELLE, France

An amazing architecture inside this building !

13 Nov 2019 7:35am

jeanmadis from chonburi, Thailand

Magnifique architecture tout en dentelle !

13 Nov 2019 8:55am

Remus from Portugal

To some extent, I think it has similarities to the arabic architectural/decoration style.
No doubt it's beautiful.

13 Nov 2019 5:46pm

yo from Ile de France, France

Une architecture majestueuse !

13 Nov 2019 8:41pm

Gary from Gwynedd, United Kingdom

Love the roof

13 Nov 2019 9:31pm

omar from Hamburg, Germany

awesome building, the stairs are incredible!

14 Nov 2019 6:34am

Sam from Chennai, India

Beautiful view of the atrium and gorgeous interiors. Excellent composition and lovely light. Great. :)

14 Nov 2019 4:41pm