Railway Exchange Building
Home to the Chicago Architecture Foundation's headquarters, Daniel Burnham's 1904 Railway Exchange Building incorporated the latest technology of the day but presents classically-informed interior and exterior ornament. The curtain wall facade of off-white terra cotta includes tripartite composition, oriel bays and substantial windows topped at the cornice by distinctive portholes. The interior is characterized by a Burnham-signature light well covered by the original skylight at the mezzanine level, to which a grand staircase rises. The building was renovated in 1985 (Metz, Train & Youngren and Frye,Gillan & Molinard) and a second skylight was installed at the 17th/top floor. All light well windows were removed - offering a dramatic experience for visitors and a convivial environment for tenants. It was here that Burnham developed the famous 1909 Plan of Chicago and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe had an office when he first arrived in Chicago in 1938.
Behind the Scenes Access: Three architecture firms (SOM, Goettsch Partners and VOA) are available for OHC visitors. See individual listings for details:
Hours: Saturday and Sunday 9am-5pm
Architect(s): D. H. Burnham and Company