When the Chicago Auditorium Theater was first built in 1889 it was the tallest building in the city, and the largest in the United States overall. The architects, Adler and Sullivan, had a goal of making the ‘largest, grandest, and most expensive’ theater when they began their work in 1886. Sitting at the northwest corner of South Michigan Avenue, this theater is now on the National Register of Historic Places, Historical Landmarks, Chicago Landmarks, and Historic Michigan District. In 1947 this complex became part of the Roosevelt University, and the theater itself became the first home of the Chicago Civic Opera and Symphony Orchestra. Currently it is used to play through the seasons of the locally popular Joffrey Ballet.
Once here your group will see the tall structure with load-bearing outer walls, a truly heavy, yet impressive building. It has a massive raft foundation underneath, due to the over 100ft of soft blue clay. A tour will show you the off limits areas and take you behind the scenes of this 24 karat gold leafed ceiling arches, hundreds of beautifully restored stencil patterns, ornate gilded and bas-relief designs, and endless floor and wall mosaics and murals. You can see, on any given day, a dance or ballet performance, or even a jazz or classical music concert. There are even several large annual events held here, such as the 2015 NFL Draft most recently. If you get hungry afterwards, don’t worry, there are many fine dining opportunities within this neighborhood!