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Marquette Building

Photo credit: Alan Brunettin
The Marquette Building, restored in 2003. Photo credit: Alan Brunettin
Photo credit: Alan Brunettin
Relief sculptures tell the story of explorer Pere Marquette. Photo credit: Alan Brunettin

The Marquette Building serves as an example of the Chicago School style of architecture. It has a three-part façade that parallels a classical column — a clearly identified base, a vertical shaft of floors above, and an ornamented cornice that signifies the capital, or top, of the column.

The Marquette Building also displays the Chicago window: a large, fixed central pane of glass flanked by two operable narrow sashes. This window design became popular in the 1890s partly because it allowed for natural light and ventilation year-round.

The Marquette’s entry and lobby are richly ornamented with works of art that celebrate the journeys of Jacques Marquette (Pere Marquette), a French Jesuit priest who explored the Chicago region in the 1670s. These include mosaic murals designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and bronze relief sculptures by Edward Kemeys, the artist known for the iconic Art Institute lions.

Today, the Marquette Building is owned by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which restored the building in 2003.