historically important 19th century american ornamental cast iron downtown chicago rookery building office door backplate and matching perforated doorknob

Regular Price: $1,000.00

Special Price $800.00

Availability: In Stock

original 19th century rookery building interior office door hardware likely designed by architects charles atwood and john root with assistance by the chicago-based orr & lockett hardware company. the cast iron hardware was executed by the yale & towne mfg. co., stamford, ct. the highly stylized backplate with scrollwork and dimpled edges and distinctive perforated "wheel" pattern doorknob retain the original bower-barff or "rust-proof" finish. construction of the rookery building took place between 1886 and 1888, and at the time, the twelve-story building was the tallest in the world. the rookery building was named for the temporary city hall that was built on the site after the great chicago fire. it was dubbed “the rookery,” referring to the birds that would roost on the exterior ledges, and for the dubious politicians who would congregate at the building. located in chicago’s loop at the corner of lasalle and adams streets, the rookery building was designed for the central safety deposit company. the architectural firm of burnham & root were selected to construct the rookery after several notable projects showed their designs to be innovative and progressive during the rush to rebuild after the great chicago fire in 1871. the firm gained recognition after designing a home for union stockyards magnate john b. sherman in 1874. after the rookery building was completed, they went on to design more office buildings in chicago such as the monadnock building, the northern half of which was completed in 1891, and the masonic temple building in 1892 (demolished in 1939). the rookery building was significant to the development of american architecture and placed chicago in the forefront of the race to build the first skyscraper. the rookery successfully implemented many new and breakthrough building technologies – including combined load-bearing masonry walls with an iron skeletal frame, “floating” foundations, elevators, fireproofing, electrical lighting, and plate glass - that established the commercial acceptance of the modern skyscraper. today, it is considered the oldest standing high-rise in chicago. moorish, romanesque commercial, indian, venetian, arabian, islamic, byzantine: all these words have been used to describe the rookery’s exterior motifs. some critics said that the mix of styles lacked unity, but others felt that the repeating patterns were an interpretation of american culture, reflecting a spirit of conquest.
UR #:: UR-29010-18