Nov 30, 2022 - Things to Do

The best buildings in downtown Chicago tournament: Final Four

Wrigley Building (left) and The Rookery Building. Photos: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Wrigley Building (left) and The Rookery Building. Photos: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

We're down to the four best downtown Chicago buildings!

The Wrigley Building vs. The Rookery

The Wrigley Building stood tall over Tribune Tower in their North Michigan Avenue Elite 8 matchup.

  • It opened in 1921 as headquarters for chewing gum company Wrigley, becoming the city's first office building to boast air conditioning.
  • Before that, Chicago had no major buildings north of the river.

The Rookery won a nail-biter over Goldberg's modern masterpiece, Marina Towers.

  • Built in 1888 and designed by Daniel Burnham and John Root, The Rookery symbolized our rise from the ashes after the 1871 fire.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright redesigned the lobby in 1905.
Photos of buildings side by side.
Merchandise Mart (left) and Carbide and Carbon Building. Photos: Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Merchandise Mart vs. Carbide and Carbon Building

The Merchandise Mart continues to defy the odds and pulverize its competition in our tournament — this time the Smurfit Stone building.

  • The Mart, built in 1930 by Marshall Field & Co, is still the world's largest privately owned commercial building, at 4.2 million gross square feet.
  • It had its own ZIP code up until 2008!

In an upset, the gilded Carbide and Carbon building blew Jeanne Gang's wavy Aqua out of the water.

  • Built in 1929 by Daniel Burnham's sons, the building represents art deco at its finest.
  • The Carbide and Carbon Co. developed the first dry cell battery.

🗳 Final Four voting is now underway! The polls close at 4:30pm.

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