Tour the Architectural Jewel of the Loop: The Auditorium Theatre

July 1, 2021

The Auditorium Theatre, which opened in the Chicago Loop in 1889, is known for its perfect acoustics and innovative construction, but most of all for its stunning design and architectural details. Now you can get an up-close and behind-the-scenes view of this spectacular theatre in an 80-minute tour.

Designed by famed Chicago architects Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler, this National Historic Landmark delights visitors with 24-karat gold-leaf ceiling arches, hundreds of Sullivan’s beautifully restored intricate stencil patterns, stained glass muses at the entrance, and endless floor and wall mosaics. The idea for the Auditorium Theatre began with a Chicago businessman who was dedicated to improving the city of Chicago after the Haymarket Square riot in 1886. Using the most modern technology at the time, including electric lighting and air conditioning, Adler and Sullivan pushed the limits of modern architecture to make the Auditorium the then-tallest building in Chicago, the first multi-use building ever designed, and the most massive modern edifice in the world at the time.

Although the theatre remained open throughout the Great Depression, it eventually closed down entirely during the 1940s, 1950s, and most of the 1960s. In 1967, a brilliantly restored theatre reopened to the public.

Tours of the Auditorium Theatre will be conducted on select dates in July and August. Ticket information can be found on the Auditorium Theatre’s website. Or you can enjoy a free 20-minute virtual tour, hosted by Auditorium Theatre CEO Rich Regan.