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Fisher Building


Fisher Building


Structure in General

high-rise building
existing [completed]
pile foundation
chicago school


residential condominium


  • The terra-cotta carvings on the lower floors include seashells and sea creatures, a reference to the name "Fisher". The upper stories are decorated with carvings of eagles and mythical beasts.
  • Built by paper industry magnate Lucius Fisher.
  • Built with an interior of mahogany woodwork and Carrara marble wainscoting - one of the most expensive interiors of its day in Chicago.
  • Completed in 2 phases, 10 years apart. The older section to the south is 230 feet tall, 18 stories, and was completed in 1896.
  • The original building was designed by Charles Atwood, and the addition by Peter J. Weber - both of D.H. Burnham & Company.
  • Edward C. Shankland was the structural engineer for both parts of the building: for the original section as an employee of D.H. Burnham & Company, and as an independent consultant for the addition.
  • The original wing was only the second building in Chicago to reach 18 stories (after the Masonic Temple), and is the oldest still standing at that height.
  • Because of the building's great height for its time, the usual spread foundations were supplemented with piles underneath them to support the added weight.
  • The second floor was originally a banking room, and has especially large windows compared to the floors above it.
  • To enhance the facade's vertical emphasis, most of the ornamentation is placed on its horizontal members, reducing the banding effect that would occur if they were blank.
  • The Gothic ornament is in the 15th century style of Bruges and Rouen.
  • The Van Buren Street entrance was originally the building's main entrance. It was converted to a store when Dearborn Street became the primary access, but today it has been restored as a secondary entry.
  • The steel frame was completed in 25 days, and weighs 12,000 tons.
  • Some of the condominium units retain the mohogany and opaque glass doors with the names of the earlier office tenants.

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More Information


343 South Dearborn Street

Technical Data

275.00 ft
275.00 ft
271.25 ft
72.21 ft
151.74 ft

Involved Companies


Also recorded for this building:

facade consultant, general contractor, mechanical engineering, property management, structural engineering

Features & Amenities

  • City landmark