Chicago Sights

Reliance Building

  • 1 W. Washington St. Map It
  • Loop
  • Hotel–Sight

Published 08/31/2015

Fodor's Review

The clearly expressed, gleaming verticality that characterizes the modern skyscraper was first and most eloquently articulated in this trailblazing steel-frame tower, built by Burnham, Root, and Charles Atwood. Completed in 1895 and now home to the stylish Hotel Burnham, the building was a crumbling eyesore until the late 1990s, when the city initiated a major restoration. In the early and mid-1900s, it was a mixed-use office building. Al Capone's dentist reportedly worked out of what's now Room 809. Don't be misled when you go looking for this masterpiece—a block away, at State and Randolph streets, a dormitory for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago shamelessly mimics it. Once you've found the real thing, admire the mosaic floor and ironwork in the reconstructed elevator lobby. The building boasts early examples of the Chicago Window, which define the entire facade by adding a shimmer and glimmer to the surrounding white terra-cotta.

Sight Information


1 W. Washington St., Chicago, Illinois, 60602, USA

Map It



Published 08/31/2015


Map View

Map of

What's Nearby

  • Restaurants
  • Sights
  • Hotels

See all sights in Chicago

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?




Don't Miss

No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE email communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.