Building 51 | Building 51 | oversized flush mount art deco streamlined chicago board of trade building lobby illuminated polished brass wall sconce with cylindrical frosted glass shade – holabird & root, architects
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oversized flush mount art deco streamlined chicago board of trade building lobby illuminated polished brass wall sconce with cylindrical frosted glass shade – holabird & root, architects



Chicago Buildings

About This Item

completely intact and largely unrestored historically-important oversized wall-mount interior chicago board of trade building lobby electrified and/or illuminated wall sconce. the exact fabricator and designer is known readily known. the massive super-streamlined art deco flush mount wall sconce is comprised largely of polished brass metal. the thick frosted cylindrical-shaped shade is original an free from damage. the interior retains the original set of double (keyless) incandescent light bulb sockets, accessible from the top or bottom hinged panels with knurled edge set screws. the multiple “speed rings” partially concealing the shade are fastened to the backplate with threaded screws. the original cloth cord wiring has been left untouched. the machine age illuminated wall sconce was removed from the interior during extensive renovations years ago. few few exist today. the art deco style chicago board of trade building is located at 141 w. jackson boulevard at the foot of the lasalle street canyon in downtown chicago. the 141 w. jackson address hosted the former tallest building in chicago designed by william w. boyington before the current holabird & root structure, which held the same title for over 35 years until being surpassed in 1965 by the richard j. daley center. in 1925, the chicago board of trade commissioned holabird & root to design the current building, with hegeman & harris as general contractors. clad in gray indiana limestone and topped with a copper pyramid roof, the art deco-styled building opened on june 9, 1930. the chicago board of trade has operated continuously on its twelfth floor since the 1930 opening, dedicating 19,000 square feet to what was then the world’s largest trading floor. the advent of steel frame structural systems allowed completely vertical construction; but as with many skyscrapers of the era, the exterior was designed with multiple setbacks at increasing heights, which served to allow additional light into the ever-deepening concrete valleys in urban cores. at night, the setbacks are upwardly lit by floodlights, further emphasizing the structure’s vertical elements. the night illumination design was a common contemporary chicago architectural theme, seen also in the wrigley building, the jewelers building, the palmolive building, the lasalle-wacker building, and the tribune tower. interior decoration includes polished surfaces throughout, the use of black and white marble, prominent vertical hallway trim, and an open three-story lobby which at the time of opening housed the world’s largest light fixture. known for its work on the brooklyn bridge, the family-operated factory of john a. roebling supplied all of the cables used in the building’s 23 otis elevators. although the building was commissioned for the chicago board of trade, its first tenant was the quaker oats company, which moved in on may 1, 1930.sculptural work by alvin meyer, the one-time head of holabird & root’s sculpture department, is prominent on the building’s façade, and represents the trading activities within. on each side of the exterior clock facing lasalle street are hooded figures, an egyptian holding grain, and a native american holding corn. similar figures are repeated at the uppermost corners of the central tower, just below the sloping roof. above street level, representations of bulls protrude directly from the limestone cladding on the building’s north side and to a lesser degree on the east side, a reference to a bull market. the central structure is capped by a 6,500 pound, 31 ft. tall aluminum statue of the roman goddess of grain, ceres, holding a sheaf of wheat in the left hand and a bag of corn in the right hand, as a nod to the exchange’s heritage as a commodities market. this statue was assembled from 40 pieces. as it is near the forty-five story point, sculptor john h. storrs believed that no other building would be tall enough for the inhabitants to clearly see the statue’s face, and therefore it was left blank.