The Mysterious Ladies LaSalle

If you don’t spend a lot of time on LaSalle Street, you might not realize that the fair boulevard is graced by a pair of fair maidens.

The baroque beauties represent the concepts of industry and agriculture. They once stood over the front entrance of the old Chicago Board of Trade Building. But when the building was demolished in 1929, they mysteriously vanished.

The statues turned up almost 50 years later secluded in a forest preserve in Downers Grove. The land they were discovered on was once the estate of Arthur Cutten, who was a trader at the Board of Trade at the time 1885-era building was torn down.

Coincidence? No one’s screaming “thief” because really, who among us hasn’t made off with a fist full of office supplies every now and then? Heck, I cobbled together my first computer from Telex telegram machine parts discarded by my parents’ offices. It’s not hard to imagine that someone told Mr. Cutten, “If you can move ’em, you can have ’em.”

In 2005, the DuPage County Forest Preserve District returned the statues to LaSalle Street. They now frame the pedestrianized portion of South LaSalle between Jackson and Van Buren.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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