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Loop Tour: Sites N, O & P
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Site N
Continue walking west on Congress to Dearborn. Go north on Dearborn to Van Buren Street. This part of the walk is marked by four important office buildings. William Le Baron Jenney's Manhattan Building at 431 S. Dearborn (1890), was one of the first tall office buildings to use skeleton construction throughout. Le Baron Jenney is known as the father of the Chicago School of Architecture. It has been remodeled as a downtown residential structure and represents the northernmost thrust of the apartment conversion trend that has hit the South Loop since the late 1970s. The photograph at right shows the Manhattan Building in 1985. While this part of Chicago has recently been renamed Burnham Park, in honor of the great architect and planner, many people continue to call it the South Loop.

The Old Colony Building at 407 S. Dearborn was completed in 1893 after plans by Holabird and Roche. Directly across the street stands the Fisher Building, on the northeast corner of Van Buren and Dearborn. This is another Burnham building, whose steel frame skeleton is apparent despite the use of terra-cotta detailed in rather elaborate Gothic ornamentation. The Fisher Building's bay windows helped the architect to achieve a notable openness and lightness in this building.

On the west side of Dearborn between Van Buren and Jackson stands the venerable Monadnock Building (1891). Holabird and Roche designed the southern half of the building in 1893 to compliment the northern half done by Burnham and Root two years earlier. This trim, sixteen-story building's stark silhouette suggests the New England mountain it was named for. While Root's building is the tallest wall-bearing masonry structure in Chicago-its walls are six feet wide at the base-the Holabird and Roche section is of more conventional steel-framed construction. The photograph at right shows the Monadnock on the southwest corner of Jackson and Dearborn in 1985. The Monadnock is perhaps the fullest expression of John Root's power as an architect. The Chicago Architecture Foundation's ArchiCenter is located in the Monadnock Building. This center includes a fine bookstore dealing with Chicago's architectural heritage. Public lectures and tours are also offered through the ArchiCenter.

Site O
Continue north to Jackson. On the northwest corner stands the Kluczynski Building and Plaza. Across the street stands the Dirksen Building. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed these structures (including the low-rise post office on the plaza) as the Federal Center and Plaza, which was constructed between 1964 and 1975. The plaza, like the two others on Dearborn, is adorned by a sculpture. A fifty-three foot red stabile by Alexander Calder called Flamingo ornaments this public space.

Site P
Proceed west on Jackson Boulevard to LaSalle Street. LaSalle street is the financial heart of Chicago's Central Business District. The magnificent Board of Trade Building, designed by Holabird and Root in 1929, just before the financial panic that brought on the Great Depression, dominates this canyon-like street. This is the second Board of Trade Building to be located on this site. The first commodity exchange designed in 1885 by W.W. Boyington, who also designed the Water Tower on North Michigan Avenue, had a 300-foot tower that had to be removed in 1895 because of structural problems. At the top of the present building stands a statue of Ceres, the Greek goddess of grain, 609 feet above LaSalle Street. The actual trading of commodities can be seen from the visitors' gallery every business day from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

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