Chamber of Commerce II
Life Span: 1872-1890
Location: SE corner of N. LaSalle and W. Washington streets
Architect: Cochrane and Miller
The Land Owner, February, 1872
REBUILT CHICAGO.—THE NEW CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.
This important edifice, as will be seen by our full page illustration, is being built on the old site, corner of Lasalle and Washington streets. The design is by Messrs. Cochrane & Miller, the well known architects, of this city, who also supervise the work.
This structure is erected by a stock company, the same that built the old Chamber of Commerce, destroyed in the fire. Of this company, D. A. Jones, one of our prominent commercial men, is President, and C. L. Raymond, Secretary.
THE NEW BUILDING.
While the outward semblance of the new structure is much the same as that of the old, it differs from it in many material and essential points. The dingy basement offices, that were an eye-sore to the old building, are left out in the plans, and the building made sufficiently high to bring them all above ground, while the Board of Trade hall remains the same height and size as before. Many defects that existed in the old hall, such as its acoustic properties, will be remedied in this.
There need to be no further guarantee given to the public that this prominent building in our rebuilt city will be thoroughly and substantially erected than the fact that it is in the hands of Messrs. Cochrane & Miller, the architects. This firm are too well known in the building world to doubt this assertion. Mr. Cochrane was the architect of the new capital building, at Springfield, and many of our old structures, that went down in the fire, were from his designs. This firm, immediately after the fire, opened a roomy and convenient office in Nixon’s Building, where they are now at work upon the plans of many prominent buildings to be erected the coming summer.
Rebuilt Chicago.—>The New Chamber of Commerce in Process of Erection on the Old Site, Southeast Corner Washington and Lasalle Streets
THE BOARD OF TRADE.
When this new commercial palace is completed, our Board of Trade will again be be as comfortably and elegantly housed as any in the country. They are, at present, located near the Washington street tunnel, where they will remain until the new chamber is ready for their occupancy. Mr. Randolph, Secretary of the board, as well as the many individual members of this important body, will wait impatiently and watch wistfully the stones of the new building rise one by one, upon the ruins of the old location.
Chicago Tribune, October 9, 1872
Description of the new Chamber of Commerce—All About the Pictorial Ornamentation—Suggestive Allegorical Paintings—The Finest and Most Richly Ornamented Hall of the Kind in the World.
The hall of the new Chamber of Commerce has received its last ornamental touches. With its fine proportions, the flood of light from its many windows, and the rich coloring of its ceiling and walls, it presents a handsome appearance. The frescoing of the ceiling is in elegant pattern. There is a large oval in the centre, two smaller ones at right angles to it, and ten panels of different sizes. The ovals are of sky-blue, and the larger one is relieved by light, fleecy clouds. The panels are all of a delicate green tint, scarcely distinguishable from blue. The general arrangement of colors is ludicrous, beginning with the prevailing tint of blue in the center of the ceiling, which fades first into pale green, and then into sober drab gray upon the walls. The panels, at the ends and sides, are adorned with scroll work, relieved by fancy sketches. The scroll-work upon the panels at the end of the ceiling supports clusters of brightly colored flowers, fruit, and sheaves; those at the sides sustain shields bearing appropriate devices. On one shield is an anchor, on the other a sword and sickle.
The ceiling terminates in a crenellated border of dark lines, from the points of which depend delicate fantastic ornaments of buds., acorns, and leaves. Both the border and the cornice below it are deeply colored, and might seem a little dull and heavy, were not the hall flooded with light in every nook and corner. Midway the border, on each side and at the ends of the hall, are pictures neatly painted. That at the north end represents the American eagle clasping the legendary arrows, and holding in his talons a scroll displaying the legend—E. PLURIBUS UNUM. At the south end, the nation’s bird is seen, with outspread wings, upon a rock amid the angry waves of the city and shipping being visible in the distance. Those at the sides are more elaborate. On the east side appears a female gleaner, of life size, carrying a sheaf and sickle; a landscape stretches out behind her; exactly opposite stands a sailor leaning in a capstan; the lake and city, with wharves and shipping forming the background of the picture. The music balcony, at the south end, forms a handsome ornament, while at the same time, it relieves the general bareness of the wall. The chief pictorial ornaments of the room are at the site of the window behind the chair of the President, These are two large allegorical paintings, not, of course, in the grandest style of art, but still well done and suggestive. That on the left represents the angel of destruction flying over Chicago with an inverted torch, from which sparks fall in showers upon the devoted roofs of the city. The face and figure are not entirely waiting in grace and spirit. A portion of Washington street and a part of the old Chamber of Commerce appear in the foreground. The picture on the right represents the angel of peace returning to bless the city in its desolation. Before her troop two cherubs, one bearing an editorial waste basket filled with the fruits of the season, and the other red flannel of the sanguineous hue known as Solferino. The picture last mentioned excels the other in warmth of tone, drawing, and general artistic execution. A view of the old chamber, and a portion of Washington street before the fire adorns a panel in the southwest corner of the hall, the panel being made in imitation of a window, through which the view is supposed to be seen. In a corresponding place in the opposite is a companion picture of the ruins immediately after the conflagration. A rich wainscoting surrounds the hall, rising to the height of six feet. From the wainscot to the ceiling the entire ornamentation, including the cornice and border, is in imitation of mosaic. The panels between the windows are a shade of drab, relieved by unobtrusive strips of color. Between the arches of the windows, and in various spaces and corners, about the walls and ceiling, there is fine mosaic, elegant in its minute detail. Beside the main border where the walls meet the ceiling , there are two others, encircling the hall, similar in color, but narrower; one crowning the wainscots and the other at the base of the arches surmounting the windows. The hall is probably the finest in the country devoted to similar uses, and scarcely second to any built for the more comprehensive purposes of art.
The Land Owner, May, 1874
From looking at the exterior of the buildings, grand bird’s-eye views, and the many other features of The Land Owner, this month,
North End of the Grand Board of Trade Hall in the Chicago Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce II
Being built after the Great Fire
Chicago Board of Trade Building Dedication
October 9, 1872
Interior of the Chamber of Commerce
The second Chamber of Commerce was “once a beautiful temple in which the Board of Trade held its sessions” and “had in its porch four magnificent columns, the pride of the Chicago renaissance, so to speak, of 1872. These columns are all that remain . The building was deserted by the Board of Trade, which moved to W. Jackson street. The walls were raised on screws; a steel and concrete foundation was made; the steel cage was carried down within the walls, and thus there rose another of those remarkable towers that are now attracting universal attention. The quadrilateral interior of this building present, next to the rotunda of the Masonic Temple, the most striking view to be found in any of the great Chicago edifices. Balconies surround the court on each story and brass and mosaic ornamentations are used with fine effect. The cantilever principle has been used to obviate the need of posts under the balconies. The Chamber of Commerce building is a tall box, all its grandeur being found within.
One Year From the Fire
Chicago Illustrated, October 1872
Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce
Robinson Fire Map