Fishing for History in The Loop

The Fisher Building

On days when the sun splashes on its golden terra cotta, the Fisher Building (343 South Dearborn Street) glistens like a gem. The building is one of the finest examples of the Chicago School of architectre, designed by the accomplished architect Charles Atwood, under the direction of the period’s largest figure, Daniel Burnham.

Raised in two phases a decade apart around the turn of the twentieth century, the building utilizes steel frame construction to stand twenty stories tall and is clad on all sides in decorative ornamentation consisting of sea creatures, real and mythical, inspired by the surname of Lucius Fisher, the building’s patron.

The skyscraper anchors one of Chicago’s most historic districts, neighbored by the Monadnock and Old Colony on Dearborn Street. To the west, it overlooks Pritzker Park, a rare oasis of greenery in the Loop. Retail occupies the street level, with residential apartments taking up the remainder of the building and a handsome cornice line tops it all off.

In 1976, the Fisher Building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, making the structure safe from demolition. Its presence on that list is well deserved, giving the building recognition as a fine jewel and allowing us a glimpse into a bygone era.

Should you wish to live within its history, you can explore renting an apartment here:


Author: Paul Kulon

Paul Kulon is a Chicagoan and blogger. You can see more of Paul’s photos and musings on his Tumblr feed, Bohemian Embassy

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