As many times as we have visited Chicago, this was the first time I'd visited the Chicago Board of Trade. My husband works in the grain business, so he had a buddy who works there give us a tour. It was fascinating, all this history and bustle, and important scurrying around and waving of arms down on the floor. It made me want to be part of the machine, and I was in awe of those who actually understand how it all works. We actually caught it on a slow day, right before the 4th of July holiday, but the "pits" (organized by commodity) were still a hive of activity.
The Chicago Board of Trade is the world's oldest futures and options exchange, established in 1848. The building itself was built specifically for the CBOT in 1930. The architecture is very Art Deco, as evidenced by the top picture, which is part of the lobby.
They were a wee bit intense on dress code (?) and would not allow children nor anyone in shorts on the floor. (I questioned what, exactly, was going on down there on the floor that wasn't suitable for my son's eyes, but never got a valid answer.) But since it was over a hundred degrees that day, they could have their pants for lunch. I took my bare legs and my son and viewed everything through the 2nd floor observation window.