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Chicago Board of Trade

Photo credit: Alan Brunettin
The LaSalle Street canyon and the Chicago Board of Trade. Photo credit: Alan Brunettin
Photo credit: Alan Brunettin
Ancient traders adorn the building’s façade. Photo credit: Alan Brunettin

Sitting at the foot of the LaSalle Street canyon, the 45-story Chicago Board of Trade Building reigns like an Art Deco queen over the city’s financial district. It was named for, and houses, the world’s oldest futures and options exchange, established in 1848.

The building was the tallest structure in Chicago until 1965, when the Richard J. Daley Center eclipsed it. Atop the 605-foot, pyramid-capped tower stands the Roman goddess of agriculture, Ceres, left faceless by sculptor John Storrs; he believed the building would always be so much taller than its neighbors that no one would be able to see the statue’s face.

Closer to the street, Native American and Mesopotamian traders exchange corn and grain in sculptures that celebrate the commodities traded inside.