Sullivan and Adler’s second-floor trading room was the main attraction of the Chicago Stock Exchange Building. The apparent austerity of the building’s exterior contrasted with the complex, dense, and multi–colored decoration of the trading room, which featured magnificent ironwork, colored glass, stencil, and plaster ornament. This portion of the vivid fifty-two-color frieze’s stylized organic patterning alludes to the stock exchange’s prominence in the agricultural market and, more broadly, evidences Sullivan’s appropriation of Islamic decorative traditions. The building was torn down in 1972, but much of the trading room and many other fragments were salvaged.
Gallery label from Shaping Modernity 1880–1980, March 28, 2012–September 8, 2013.