Backstory and Context
The Great Fire of 1871 ravaged the Chicago and leveled acres of buildings. In the aftermath of the disaster, the city began rebuilding almost immediately and at a furious pace. While there are still many of these post-fire buildings throughout Chicago, only a few remain in the Loop District. Completed in 1874, the Delaware Building is one of the post-fire Loop few buildings. The Bryant Block, as it was first known, was designed in the Italianate style by one of Chicago's earliest architectural firms, Wheelock and Thomas. Situated on the corner of Randolph and Dearborn Streets, the building possesses an English basement and the exterior is constructed of precast concrete which was unusual for the time. The building originally stood at five stories, but the 1889 remodel added two more stories and redesigned the bottom two stories in an effort to make the building more competitive. It was during this time that the building became known as the Real Estate Board Building. On July 18, 1974, the now-known Delaware Building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a Chicago Landmark on November 23, 1983.
Delaware Building. Chicago Landmarks. January 7, 2019. https://web.archive.org/web/20070607141033/http://www.ci.chi.il.us/Landmarks/D/Delaware.html.