The light hall in The Rookery office building represents Chicago for me. It is a great tasteful feast of light, design and use of modern industrial materials. After the great fire of 1871 reduced the then filthy, smelly, and overcrowded Chicago to ashes, architectural firms seized the opportunity to build a new Chicago with new materials and techniques. The Rookery was the tallest building in the world when it was completed in 1888.
The nine-storey wrought-iron spiral staircase, beginning with a bay window staircase hanging loose from the wall in the light hall, was the masterpiece of architect Root. In 1905 the young architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who designed many homes in Chicago, renovated the light hall using white Carrara marble, gilded ornaments and beautiful light fixtures.
The result; a fantastic symbiosis of light and luxury.