Auditorium Building
 Great Buildings  Search  Advanced  Buildings  Architects  Types  Places  3D Models  Pix  Archiplanet   ArchitectureWeek  
Architect Louis H. Sullivan
Subscribers - login to skip ads
Location Chicago, Illinois   map
Date 1886 to 1890   timeline
Building Type civic auditorium
 Construction System bearing masonry
Climate temperate
Context urban
Style Eclectic Romanesque Revival, Richardsonian
Notes with Dankmar Adler.


View from east

Eastern entrance

Detail: windows, east wall


Elevation Drawing

Plan Drawing

Plan Drawing

Plan Drawing

Elevation Drawing

Section Drawing

Section Drawing

Site Plan Drawing


Discussion Auditorium Building Commentary

"The Auditorium was built for a syndicate of businessmen to house a large civic opera house; to provide an economic base it was decided to wrap the auditorium with a hotel and office block. Hence Adler & Sullivan had to plan a complex multiple-use building. Fronting on Michigan Avenue, overlooking the lake, was the hotel (now Roosevelt University) while the offices were placed to the west on Wabash Avenue. The entrance to the auditorium is on the south side beneath the tall blocky seventeen-story tower. The rest of the building is a uniform ten stories, organized in the same way as Richardson's Marshall Field Wholesale Store. The interior embellishment, however, is wholly Sullivan's, and some of the details, because of their continuous curvilinear foliate motifs, are among the nearest equivalents to European Art Nouveau architecture."

—Leland M. Roth. A Concise History of American Architecture. p179-80.

Some interior details were probably drawn by Frank Lloyd Wright, who started in Sullivan's office as a draftsman in 1887.

— Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. p1241.


10 stories high, load-bearing masonry construction.

Sources on Auditorium Building

Werner Blaser and Monica Stucky. Drawings of Great Buildings. Boston: Birkhauser Verlag, 1983. ISBN 3-7643-1522-9. LC 83-15831. NA2706.U6D72 1983. plan and section drawings, p156.

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. ISBN 0-442-21668-8. LC 84-3543. NA2750.C55 1984. plan drawing, p112. elevation, p112. upper floor plan, p112. site plan, p112. diagrams, p113. — Updated edition available at

Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. London: The Butterworth Group, 1987. ISBN 0-408-01587-X. LC 86-31761. NA200.F63 1987. discussion, p1240. exterior photo, p1241. — The classic text of architectural history. Expanded 1996 edition available at

Johnson Architectural Images. Copyrighted slides in the Artifice Collection.

Wim De Wit, ed. Louis Sullivan: The Function of Ornament. New York: W. W. Norton and Company. Exterior photo of building from street, f32, p36. Interior photo of auditorium, f36, p41.

Leland M. Roth. A Concise History of American Architecture. New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1979. ISBN 0-06-430086-2. NA705.R67 1979. exterior photo, f156, p180. discussion, p179-180.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Auditorium Building


Web Resources
Links on Auditorium Building

Auditorium Building at ArchiplanetFind, add, and edit info at the all-buildings collaboration

We appreciate your  suggestions  for links about Auditorium Building.

 Great Buildings  Search   Model Viewing Tips   DW   Discussion   Blogs   Books   Archiplanet   ArchitectureWeek  
Subscribe free to weekly design and building newsletters by ArchitectureWeek

Quick Search by name of Building, Architect, or Place:   
Examples:  "Fallingwater",  "Wright",  "Paris"       Advanced Search
Send this to a friend | Contribute | Subscribe | Link | Credits | Media Kit | Photo Licensing | Suggestions

Special thanks to our sustaining subscribers including, and Saniflo Upflush.

© 1994-2013 Artifice, Inc. All Rights Reserved.