Designed by acclaimed architects Holabird & Root, the steel-framed structure is clad in grey limestone and capped by a copper pyramid and gigantic statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture. This symbolic element recalls a time when the farming industry ruled Chicago trade.
The art deco interior is usually closed to the public but can be visited on some guided tours. If you get a chance to peek inside, you’ll be greeted by an impressive continual light fixture illuminating a 3-story lobby adorned with glossy black-and-white marble.
Things to know before you go
- The building’s lobby, basement, and trading floor are not open to the public and can only be visited on a guided tour.
- The building is both an official Chicago Landmark and a National Historic Landmark.
- The CBOT was the tallest building in Chicago for more than 35 years.
- Look for sculptures of hooded figures alongside the clock above the building’s main entrance, across from LaSalle Street.
How to get there
The Chicago Board of Trade Building is located on West Jackson Blvd. in downtown Chicago’s Loop district. Parking in the area is limited, but the building can be easily reached from the LaSalle/Van Buren station on the brown, orange, purple, and pink “L” lines.
When to get there
Admire the Chicago Board of Trade Building’s exterior any time; for a different perspective, walk or drive by at night, when floodlights bathe the building’s geometrical shapes. Visit during the free Open House Chicago event in October to see inside the building.
Chicago Architecture Cruises
Architecture cruises are a popular way to admire Chicago’s distinctive skyscrapers. Keep your camera out and get a new perspective on the Chicago Board of Trade Building, John Hancock Building, Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), and Wrigley Building while gliding down the Chicago River on an open-top boat.
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