Continued from Chicago landmarks site: (visit link
"The building is a major contributor to LaSalle Street's reputation as one of the city's premier architectural corridors. It is one of the best surviving examples of the work of architects Vitzhum and Burns, who were known for their design of banks and churches. And, for 35 years, the 49-story building was the city's tallest structure, a title it relinquished to the Daley Civic Center in 1965."
Circling the building at the fifth floor are 17 relief panels sculpted by Leon Hermant, depicting America's most famous explorers, LaSalle, Marquette, Columbus, Clark and Joliet, as well as Indian Chiefs, Justice and Atlas. See waymark
Paraphrased from “The American Skyscraper,” 1850 – 1940: A celebration of height, by Joseph Korom
"One North LaSalle Street stands squarely in Chicago’s financial district, on the NW corner of LaSalle and Madison, helping to define that famous business corridor. This is a no-nonsense building designed to create profit for its owners, provide its tenants with functional space and impress the public at large with quality architecture. It rises effortlessly to meet the sky while employing telescoping segments. One North LaSalle Street was the product of architects Karl Vitzhum and John Burns. It rises 49 stories and cost $7 million, truly sobering for 1930.
The public lobby just inside the LaSalle Street entrance is an Art Deco jewel box. Dark marble walls and ceilings are covered with angular patterns, chevrons, female nudes and foliate patterns. Polished brass elevator doors, featuring low relief semi-nude females in the form of Greek goddesses, silently glide from closed to open and back again. Shiny metal and frosted glass wall sconces emerge bird-like from the wall planes. This is not just any lobby, this space is a superbly orchestrated and totally engaging experience."
More on the lobby from ChiefEngineer.org (visit link
"Stylish green-black marble walls accented by shiny cast bronze elevator doors feature full-figured female figures symbolizing Success and Reputation, the hallmark of the LaSalle Street corridor. Intricate peacock light bracket lamps, four feet high and strategically hung four feet above the floor, provide intimate lighting through the green glass in the peacock's tail. By focusing this light on the walls and ceiling, the interior beauty of the building is showcased."
From Gapers Block article Feb 23 2006 “La Salle: From French Explorer to City Street (visit link
"René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle was born in Rouen, France, on November 22, 1643. He studied at a Jesuit college with an eye towards the priesthood, but when he was denied a chance to become a missionary, despite several applications, he left the order.
In 1667, La Salle left France and traveled to Canada. Thanks to family connections, he received a grant of land on Montreal Island. He farmed the land and established a fur-trading outpost, which helped him make valuable contacts with the Indians. Accounts from the Indians about the lands south and west further fueled La Salle's desire for exploration. He sold his lands in 1669 to raise money for his first expedition and became a full-time explorer.
La Salle is remembered in Chicago because he passed through the area at least once during his travels. He built a fort on the Illinois River in 1683. Fort Saint-Louis was erected near Starved Rock. Today he is remembered in the area in both the county name, La Salle County, and the nearby town of La Salle, Illinois.
He is best known, however, for his achievement in April 1682, when he and his party completed their journey down the Mississippi River, reaching the Gulf of Mexico. They surpassed the voyage Marquette and Joliet, who had traveled the Mississippi about 10 years before, but only made it as far as the mouth of the Arkansas River.”
One North LaSalle was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
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