500 North Dearborn Street
Located in the historic Courthouse District of the River North neighborhood, the Boyce Building was commissioned by William D. Boyce as the headquarters for the W. D. Boyce Publishing Company. Founded by William D. Boyce in 1887, the Boyce Publishing Company was one of the leading magazine publishers in North America during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Its publications, including The Saturday Blade, the Chicago Ledger, and The Farming Business, were intended for rural and small-town readers. At the height of the company's success, its periodicals were read by millions weekly.
Designed by D.H. Burnham & Co. and Christian Eckstrom, it was constructed in stages, beginning in 1911. At the time of its completion in 1923, the Boyce Building was the tallest office building north of the Chicago River and west of North Michigan Avenue.
The Boyce Publishing Company occupied the building's first four floors, while the remaining eight floors housed office tenants. Boyce himself used the building's small penthouse as his Chicago home. It was in his "sky bungalow" that Boyce died of pneumonia on June 11, 1929.
Besides its importance in the history of American publishing, the Boyce Building also is a significant building in the history of American scouting. Between 1915 and 1924, it was the national headquarters for the lone Scouts of America, and was affectionately known by the Lone Scouts throughout North America as the organization's "Lone House."
On February 16, 1996, the Boyce Building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register is the nation's official list of places that are recognized for their historical, architectural, or archeological significance and considered worthy of preservation. The National Register recognized the Boyce Building as significant in the history of American publishing. The building is also significant for its connection with its builder, William D. Boyce, the founder of the Boy Scouts of America and a companion organization, the Lone Scouts of America. As the national headquarters for the Lone Scouts, the Boyce Building is the one building that best represents Boyce's commitment to organize the well being, mental, and physical development of American youth.