Saturday, January 23, 2010

Chicago's Insurance Exchange Building

Chicago's Insurance Exchange Building, still beautiful, still vibrant, on a crisp January day in 2010. Occupying one square block directly west of the iconic Chicago Board of Trade Building in the south Loop, between Jackson and Van Buren Streets, it was once home to the Mid-America Commodities Exchange and, per Leslie A. Hudson in Chicago Skyscrapers, to the headquarters of more insurance companies than any other building in the world. Completed in 1912 by D.H. Burnham, with a southward expansion in 1928, it shows the classic tripartite structure with a well-defined base and top, here punctuated by ionic colonnades separated by an unadorned middle.

Pictured above is the east face of the building.

Pictured on this vintage postcard is the initial northern half of the building, viewed from the northeast across Jackson Blvd; the northwestern corner of the old Board of Trade Building is visible on the extreme left.

Richard Balsamo