clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Biggest and Loudest of Its Day, Auditorium Building Will Soon Turn 125

New, 5 comments

For Curbed's new Bossy Building series, we're hoisting up one building a week that demonstratively throws its weight around as a dominant piece of architecture in the streetscape. It might even alter the aura of a neighborhood. Adler & Sullivan's Auditorium Building is a good place to launch the proceedings, especially since it's about to mark 125 years at Congress & Michigan. Drive the conversation by nominating buildings both muscular and influential from across Chicago (you may also nominate in the comments below).

Although Adler & Sullivan's Auditorium Building drew its massing and facade treatments in part from nearby Marshall Field's Wholesale Store by H.H. Richardson (demo'd in the 1930s), its scale came from another universe. For a decade or so following an 1889 completion, Auditorium Building was the city's tallest and the country's largest structure. High ceilings, thick stone cladding, and decorative inlaid arches dupe passerby into digesting the building as a single solid block. The Auditorium Building clearly has multiple stories and diverse uses within, but it does absorb an entire block of Congress between Wabash & Michigan.

The Gray Lady of the Loop (adopt that if you like) will turn 125 in the new year, along with its 4,300-seat theater. FLOTUS Michele Obama and Mayor Rahm Emanuel are honorary co-chairs for the anniversary season. Since 1947, Roosevelt University has educated in the auxiliary space once home to hundreds of luxury hotel rooms and offices. Check out 2014's special theater programming, enroll in a class, or simply try and locate the rest of the city when standing at the foot of this masonry monster.
·Adler & Sullivan's Auditorium Theater Dazzles the Senses [Curbed Chicago]
·Auditorium Theater Chicago Celebrates 125 Years [Chcicago Now]
·Adler & Sullivan Coverage [Curbed Chicago]