clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cornerspotted: Masonic Temple Building at State & Randolph

The proud but short-lived skyscraper depicted in an undated photograph was indeed Burnham & Root's Masonic Temple Building at the northeast corner of State & Randolph. Built in 1892, the 22-story tower became the city's tallest once the clock tower was removed from the Board of Trade Building in 1895. Curbed reader Jeff Kemp correctly identified the pioneering construction as an early example of a vertical mall: nine stories of retail with a central atrium, another nine stories of office space, and a few for Freemason gatherings and theater productions at the top. That last feature proved obsolete as elevator capacity was insufficient for large crowds. The flawed and beautiful tower struggled with tenancy for four decades before being razed ahead of the State Street subway project in 1939. Commenter RichardP in NYC reminds that the top of 190 S LaSalle pays homage to the Masonic Temple Building.
·Hint: Obsolescence Set in Quickly for This Major Skyscraper [Curbed Chicago]
·Chicago Masonic Temple [Wikipedia]