Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Rookery: Reflections on the name

Reflections on the name: The Rookery..
A marker in the lobby of the building gives some insight into the odd name: The Rookery.
Owne Aldis wrote to Peter Brooks, "I do not like the name which has been given to the Central Safety Deposit Company Building, The Rookery, any more than you do, but it seems utterly impossible to give any name to it by which it will be called except that. It is to a certain extent historical, but I don't like the name and think that the best plan will be to have the street numbers on the Adam and LaSalle Street doors and whoever does not like the name can simply put the street number on the letterhead".
It is odd that such an architectural masterpiece would be called the Rookery. Some say the name was inherited from the hastily built and ramshackle City Hall which previously occupied the site after the Great Fire and temporarily housed the city's government officials. Other claim the name originated with the crows that once lived in the previous structure's walls. It is also said that an adjacent fire station attracted scores of pigeons on the site that fed on the horses oats. Whatever the case, the name stuck.
Perhaps Roots had the last laugh, though. Exterior details feature open mouthed crows - or rooks - that are reminiscent of the squawking corrupt city officials that once crowded the City Hall.

For more on The Rookery.. click here..

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