The Largest Opera House in the World, the Chicago Auditorium, 1889 : The Beginning of A Unique American Architecture (Hardcover)

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This is the story of the planning and construction of the Auditorium Building and Theater on Michigan Avenue in Chicago and the men who built it. At the time, it was the largest building in America, containing the largest opera house in the world. It was the last of the great masonry buildings of the nineteenth century and the first of the new wave of monumental structures that would characterize the first two decades of the twentieth. It marked the beginning of modern commercial architecture in America, the start of what was later to be called the “Chicago School.”


"AUDITORIUM is historical fiction written in the form of a memoir penned in 1919 by the architect Henry Leopold Ottenheimer. He writes about events in the 1880s surrounding the planning and construction of the building. Ottenheimer was an apprentice draftsman working in the offices of Adler & Sullivan, the architectural firm hired to build the Auditorium. As such, he worked with Dankmar Adler, Louis Sullivan, and Frank Lloyd Wright, all of whom would become great American architects and recognized as founders of the “Chicago School.”

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