Touring Louis Sullivan's Lost Works

John Hill
17. November 2021
Photo: Screenshot from short film on the Garrick Theater

As part of the two-part exhibition at Wrightwood 659, Romanticism to Ruin: Two Lost Works of Sullivan and Wright, Chicago cultural historian emeritus Tim Samuelson gives short video tours of five demolished Louis Sullivan buildings in the Loop.

Romanticism to Ruin consists of two exhibits on two buildings: Reconstructing the Garrick: Adler & Sullivan’s Lost Masterpiece and Reimagining the Larkin: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Modern Icon. The former was curated by Samuelson and architect John Vinci, cartoonist Chris Ware, and Eric Nordstrom, who owns a store that specializes in salvaging architectural artifacts. 

The films made by Spirit of Space to accompany the exhibition at Wrightwood 659 focus on the Garrick and a few other buildings that were designed by Sullivan but were demolished to make way for larger modern buildings last century. 

Before watching the short tours by Samuelson, it's worth watching an interview with Vinci, who worked with famed photographer and preservationist Richard Nickel (1928–1972) on salvaging parts of the Garrick Theater before its demolition in 1961.

"Wrightwood659: Lost Works, An Interview with John Vinci"

The tours by Samuelson present these five Sullivan buildings, all located within a few square blocks of the Loop back in the day:

  • Garrick Theater – 64 W. Randolph Street, demolished in 1961
  • Chicago Stock Exchange – 30 N. LaSalle Street, demolished in 1972
  • Rothschild and Brothers Store – 212 W. Monroe Street, demolished in 1972
  • Troescher Building – 15. S. Wacker Drive, demolished in 1978
  • Walker Warehouse – SW corner of Adams Street and Wacker Drive, demolished in 1953
"Wrightwood659: Lost Works Tour with Tim Samuelson, Garrick Theater"
"Wrightwood659: Lost Works Tour with Tim Samuelson, Chicago Stock Exchange"
"Wrightwood659: Lost Works Tour with Tim Samuelson, Rothschild and Brothers Store"
"Wrightwood659: Lost Works Tour with Tim Samuelson, Troescher Building"
"Wrightwood659: Lost Works Tour with Tim Samuelson, Walker Warehouse"

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