John VinciFeb 23, 2023
Reconstructing the Garrick
Adler and Sullivan's Lost Masterpiece
Alphawood Exhibitions 2021
For six months in 1961, Richard Nickel, John Vinci, and David Norris salvaged the interior and exterior ornamentation of the Garrick Theater, Adler & Sullivan’s magnificent architectural masterpiece in Chicago’s theater district. The building was replaced by a parking garage, and its demolition ignited the historic preservation movement in Chicago.
The Garrick (originally the Schiller Building) was built in 1892 and featured elaborate embellishments, especially in its theater and exterior, including the ornamentation and colorful decorative stenciling that would become hallmarks of Louis Sullivan’s career. Reconstructing the Garrick: Adler and Sullivan's Lost Masterpiece (Alphawood Exhibitions, 2021) documents the enormous salvaging job undertaken to preserve elements of the building’s design, but also presents the full life story of the Garrick, featuring historic and architectural photographs, essays by prominent architectural and art historians, interviews, drawings, ephemera from throughout its lively history and details of its remarkable ornamentation—a significant resource and compelling tribute to one of Chicago’s finest lost buildings. A seventy-two-page facsimile of Richard Nickel’s salvage workbook is tipped into the binding.
Bryan Toepfer, AIA, NCARB, CAPM is the Principal Architect for TOEPFER Architecture, PLLC, an Architecture firm specializing in Residential Architecture and Virtual Reality.