This is my fifth custom skyscraper model and my seventeenth overall. The Chicago Board of Trade Building is a 605 ft tall art deco styled skyscraper that was built in 1930. The building was originally built for the Chicago Board of Trade. Today, it serves as the primary trading venue for the CME Group, a company formed in 2007 as a result of the merger between CBOT and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. It was designated a Chicago landmark in 1977 as well as added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
This is my eighth Chicago skyscraper model. Being that the other seven are all post-1950 buildings, I wanted to diversify my Chicago collection a bit by making a model of one of the original Chicago landmarks. The Board of Trade Building's art deco style and unique vaulted roof, along with other notable features, inspired me to make a model of it. This is the result, after nearly twenty hours of design time, about four hours of building time, and an overall month to complete. Model completed January 19, 2012.
The Chicago Board of Trade Building was the city's tallest building for over thirty-five years. It was surpassed by the Richard J. Daley Center (also one of my models) in 1965 by only forty-three feet. It was also the first building in Chicago to exceed 600 feet.
The upper setbacks were probably the most challenging aspect of the model. I intentionally offset certain elements by half or whole studs to allow for more setbacks, which is one of the trademarks of art deco style buildings. Atop the vaulted roof, which utilizes sand blue elements, stands the three-story statue of Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, specifically wheat (represented here by a metallic silver minifig trophy statuette).
The surrounding plaza features the Statue of Industry and the Statue of Agriculture interpreted in the model using two white tile clips.
The tall bay windows at the lower floors of the building presented an immediate challenge in building the model. I was able to accurately depict this feature using a wide variety of various half-stud offsetting both straight-up and SNOT. I used similar techniques for the sides of the building while incorporating the fire escape details with rail plates and hinges, as well as distinct recesses in the façade using the short sides of 1x2 log bricks. At the plaza level, sand red plates represent the base of several foliage boxes along the street.
The lower portion of the backside of the building shares a boundary with one of the plaza's supporting buildings, hence the generic black wall. The plaza underwent significant expansion in 1980 with the addition of a postmodern style building directly behind the existing CBOT Building, and again in 1997 with a six-story addition to the southeast corner of the block. My original plan was to incorporate the entire complex, however, that prospect soon turned bleak when I realized that most of the other buildings' façades are primarily covered in reflective black glass; meaning I would need a large availability of trans-black plates. Thanks to the recent reemergence of 1x2 plates and the debut of 1x1 plates in trans-black, this prospect is no longer bleak. Stay tuned!
Thanks for your reply, I've been considering an architectural project for a while on a large scale. I've explored and had deals done over bricklink but never purchased individual elements. For the amount of pieces these buildings require, isn't bricklink a bit pricey?
A beautiful building, and you've recreated it so perfectly. The amount of detail is incredible, I love it! Also, thanks for the preview to the opera house set, I hadn't seen that one yet, looks intriguing
Wow, just amazing Rocco, you did it again! I was wondering if you would do this building or not, Do you have any plans to make part of the LaSalle Street canyon, since the building ends there? Also, Hows the WFC going? ;) (BTW, this is Sam, I'm protesting against SOPA)
This is a really nice design. The fire escape technique is rather ingenious. I would make the shared wall either all black or tan for better visual aesthetics - even if you do eventually build the adjoining building.