Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Janaury 3, 1928 -- Insull Fills in the Final Piece

January 3, 1928 --  Samuel Insull comes closer to his dream of helping the city build a new home for the Chicago Civic Opera, completing a transaction that gives him control of an entire block of the Loop, bounded by Madison Street on the south, the river on the west, Wacker Drive (Market Street at the time) on the east and Washington Boulevard on the north.  On this date the purchase of the southeast corner of the property, the piece necessary to complete the plan, is filed with the recorder of deeds.  Plans are to create an opera house that has about the same amount of space as the 1889 Auditorium Theater’s performance space with a modern office tower rising above it.  The Chicago Daily Tribune reports, “Plans for the building are being somewhat hampered … because of the difficulty of harmonizing the office building and the opera house into one beautiful building.  However, Architect Ernest R. Graham said he is confident of planning a structure at once sightly and with profitable renting space.”  Just 22 months later the new Civic Opera Building would open with Rosa Raisa playing the title role in Aida.  For more information on opening night, please follow this link.  The above photo shows the Civic Opera Building rising quickly in February of 1929.

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