Chicago Board of Trade

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Since the national tragedy on Sept. 11, tours are closed to the public until further notice. Tours are only being given to industry related groups who make reservations.

Experience the "no guts, no glory" life of a trader without losing a dime (or making one). From the viewing gallery of the Chicago Board of Trade's Visitor Center, you can watch the world's leading futures exchange in action. Witness the entire trading process, from the changing price boards to the phone clerks, runners and brokers. While you are watching traders in loud-colored jackets shout equally loud bids and gesture wildly from trading pits on the floor, one of the informed guides gives a basic "beans to bonds" lecture explaining the madness going on below and how it affects you. Tours are about 40 minutes long. The first one starts 15 minutes before the market opens; the last one is half an hour before the market closes for the day. In addition to informational brochures, there are audio and videotape transcriptions of the lecture in 14 languages. Afterward, take a walk through the historical mini-museum adjacent to the floor gallery, where artifacts and photos from the early days of commodities trading are on display, including century-old grain measuring and grading devices. You are also encouraged to watch the educational film "A Window on Futures." The CBOT building itself is of architectural significance. As you enter the building, look up and you will see a statue of Ceres, the goddess of grain (as in "cereal") and harvest perched atop this landmark building. Designed by the renowned architecture firm Holabird and Root, the CBOT was the tallest building in Chicago for many years and is a major example of Art Deco architecture.