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In 1882, construction began on the Chicago Board of Trade’s new home, which opened at the current location on May 1, 1885. At the time of its construction it was the tallest building in Chicago

Built on caissons surrounded by muck, the trading house was rendered structurally unsound in the 1920s when construction began across the street on the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago


In 1925, the Chicago Board of Trade commissioned architects Holabird & Root to design the current building. The new building officially opened its doors on June 9, 1930, and has been an iconic staple of the Chicago skyline ever since.

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 13 ft diameter clock facing LaSalle Street are hooded figures, a Babylonian holding grain and a Native American holding corn.


The Building’s central structure is capped by a 6,500 pound, 31 ft tall aluminum statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture. Created by sculptor John H. Storrs, that statue holds a sheaf of wheat in her left hand and a bag of corn in her right – a nod to the exchange's heritage as a commodities market.

This statue continues to live on as one of Chicago’s most enduring and iconic landmarks.


Interior view of the main trading floor at The Chicago Board of Trade Building. At the center of the room, the iconic trading "pits" are organized based on commodities type, with names such as the corn pit, soybean pit or wheat pit.

On the wall, you’ll notice John W. Norton's three-story mural of Ceres, which was removed from the main trading floor in 1973 and is now on display in the Building’s atrium.


A Board of Trade worker updates the market price of commodities by hand on a large chalkboard above the trading pits. This is how things were done until the 1970’s, when an electronic ticker was introduced to the trading floor.


Men gather in the interior of the Chicago Board of Trade Building to celebrate the Board’s centennial - “A Century of Service to our Nation’s Economy.”


Filmed on a cramped sound stage on The Chicago Board of Trade Building’s 43rd floor, the legendary television show Soul Train made its debut on August 17th, 1970.

Created by native Chicagoan Don Cornelius, the musical variety show would later move production to Los Angeles where it became a cultural phenomenon – running for 36 seasons and more than 1,000 episodes.


An unusual sighting for Downtown Chicago, tractors filled the streets in December 1978 as striking farmers from across the Midwest convened on The Board of Trade Building in protest of low agricultural prices.


Chicago mayor Michael Bilandic and Robert K. Wilmouth (President of the Board of Trade) stand in front of a 200 pound cake modeled after the Chicago Board of Trade Building.

This event is a celebration of the Board of Trade’s 130th anniversary.


The Chicago Board of Trade building trading floor makes an appearance in John Hughes’ beloved film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

This 1980’s classic is a love letter to the City of Chicago, with numerous Chicago landmarks present throughout the film.


Notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone famously kept a lockbox in the Chicago Board of Trade Building’s vault, located in the basement of the building.

Another of Capone’s vaults, located in the nearby Lexington Hotel, was blown open on live TV on April 21, 1986 with millions watching.

Nothing of value was found.


Opened in 1997, the $175 million Board of Trade Building expansion, designed by famed architect Helmut Jahn, added 60,000 square feet of trading space and, for a period, was once again home to the world's largest trading floor.


Big changes at the Chicago Board of Trade Building as the first electronic trading terminals are installed in the trading pits. This new digital technology marked a substantial shift in the hustle and bustle of the trading floor.


Perhaps The Chicago Board of Trade Building’s most famous on-screen appearance, the Building stood in for Wayne Tower in the 2008 superhero film Batman: The Dark Knight.

Appearing in numerous scenes throughout the film, the Building played a prominent role in the film’s “Gotham City” landscape.


In 2005, the building underwent an extensive $20 million renovation directed by Chicago architect Gunny Harboe.

The project included restoration of the main art deco lobby, elevator modernization, façade renovation and cleaning, and the continued renovation of upper floor corridors and hallways. An improved electrical infrastructure was added in addition to redundant cooling systems and upgraded telecommunications capabilities.


In 2023, R2 Companies took over stewardship of The Chicago Board of Trade Building with plans to revitalize this iconic structure. Plans include creative office, retail, and restaurant spaces, as well as significant amenity upgrades.



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