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Auditorium Building

50 East Congress Parkway
Chicago IL United States

Status:built
Construction Dates
  Began1887
  Finished1889
Floor Count17
Basement Floors2
Building Uses
 - mixed use
 - conference
 - monument
 - office
 - theatre
 - university
Structural Types
 - highrise
Architectural Style
 - romanesque

 Heights ValueSource / Comments 
Roof238 ft
Top floor223 ft

Description
- Architects: Danmark Adler & Louis Sullivan / Frank Lloyd Wright

- Architect (renovation): Harry Weese Associates

- Dimensions (L x W): 110m x 57m

- This is the oldest surviving high-rise building in the city of Chicago, was the tallest building in America from 1889-90.

- The building originally was topped by an observation turret that made the building 82.3 m (270 feet) in height.

- The building was built on soggy ground, and has since settled 2.5 feet causing sloping surfaces on the ground floor.

- Designed to be a multi purpose building was entirely built with stone, had a High-Class Hotel & areas for Offices, the year of completion was modified to have new services for the hotel like the personnel's dormitories and the dinner room (Now secondary Auditorium) those was built in some meters at the auditorium roof (with steel structure).

- On October 5, 1887, President Grover Cleveland laid the cornerstone for the Auditorium Building. The 1888 Republican National Convention was held in a partially finished building where Benjamin Harrison was nominated as a presidential candidate. On December 9, 1889 President Benjamin Harrison dedicated the building and Adler and Sullivan opened their offices on the 16th and 17th floors of the Auditorium tower. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra debuted on October 16, 1891 and made its home in the Auditorium Theatre.

- Fell into disuse in 1929 but during World War II, portions of the building were used by the United Service Organization (USO), In 1946, The Roosevelt University bought it and convert the hotel and office spaces into classrooms and school offices. The theater was renovated in 1967, and continues in operation.

- In 1975, the Auditorium Building was designated a national historical landmark by the U.S. Department of Interior. A major restoration of the building to its original colors and finish began in 2001. In July 2002, Mayor Daley presented Roosevelt with the Chicago landmark award for their preservation efforts.

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Drawing by Martin H Unzon
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