Garrick Theater


The historic Garrick Theater, built in 1892 as part of the Schiller Building, was eventually torn down to make way for a parking garage. Sadly, the garage took the name of this fine, old theater, probably out of some warped sense of remembering the beautiful theater that had graced this location for close to seventy years. Prevervationists made a valiant effort to try and save the old theater. Unfortunately, the Schiller building was destroyed in 1961, and this great architectural masterpiece became a part of Chicago's lost history. The Garrick Parking Garage demolished in August of 1998 to make way for the new Goodman Theater complex.

Speaking of architecture, the building was designed by famed Chicago architects Adler and Sullivan. One if the things that I remember vividly are the distinctive carvings that decorated the warm and intimate interior. Attached is a photo of the sculpture, long obscured, that decorated the front of the theater.

It should be noted that the fight to save the Garrick Theater marked the beginning of the modern preservationist movement. Althought the Garrick was lost, the legacy of the effort to save it has contributed to the preservation and restoration of many other fine historical buildings. I am happy to place this photo, taken in 1958, on this website as my own tribute to this lost architetural gem.

The site of the old Garrick Theater is now a part of the Goodman Theater complex at the corner of Randolph and Dearborn, which covers the locations of the old Harris and Selwyn Theaters, the Woods Theater, and the Garrick.


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