About This Item
vintage early 20th century ornamental cast bronze miniature building facade pilasters removed from the c. 1903-4 sante fe building, also known as railway exchange building. the pilasters have a twist and/or rope motif with acanthus leaf capitals located at each end. the 17-story office building, located in the historic michigan boulevard district of the loop community area of chicago, was designed by frederick p. dinkelberg of d. h. burnham & company in the chicago style. dinkelberg was also the designer of the flatiron building in new york city. the building is recognizable by the large “santa fe” logo on the roof, which is visible from grant park across michigan ave and from lake michigan. it is also notable for the round, porthole-like windows along the cornice. the center of the building features a lightwell, which was covered with a skylight in the 1980s. the formal entrance to the building is located on jackson boulevard, which in 1904 was a more important street than michigan avenue. the impressive entrance is believed to have been required by daniel burnham, head of the architectural firm and the building’s main stockholder. the firm moved its offices to the fourteenth floor, and burnham’s descendants continued ownership in the building until 1952. the building is organized as a classicization of john wellborn root’s design of the rookery. a street level two-story enclosed court designed in a symmetrical beaux-arts style was surmounted by an open lightwell which was surrounded by a ring of offices. by the formal arched entrance on jackson boulevard, a large staircase led to shops and a second-floor balcony. white-glazed terra-cotta sheaths the exterior facade and interior court and the lightwell is lined with white-glazed brick. classical designs were used for the ornamental dentils, balusters, and column capitals. the building is completely steel-framed. the building is significant as a historic site because daniel burnham and his staff made the 1909 plan of chicago in a penthouse on the northeast corner of the roof.