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Harry Weese

Archival Image Collection, Harry Weese Papers, Ryerson and Burnham Archives.*
Harry Weese portrait, c. 1963. Chicago Daily News, photographer. Archival Image Collection, Harry Weese Papers, Ryerson and Burnham Archives.*
Photo credit: Francesca Russell
The spectacularly restored Auditorium Theatre. Photo credit: Francesca Russell

Both an accomplished modern architect and a champion of historic preservation, Harry Weese understood the importance of protecting the city’s older landmarks while building new ones.

In Chicago’s Loop, he led the restoration of the theater in Adler & Sullivan’s Auditorium Building, which by the middle of the 20th century had become a sad, dilapidated shadow of its 1890s glory.
In 1967, Roosevelt University hired Weese to restore the performance hall to its original splendor, and it continues to flourish today, a masterpiece of both architecture and acoustics.

Also in the Loop, Weese designed a very different structure: the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center, a triangular, high-rise prison atop which sits an outdoor exercise area.

* Full photo credit: Harry Weese portrait, c. 1963. Chicago Daily News, photographer. Archival Image Collection, Harry Weese Papers, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago. Digital File #200604.100524-01 © The Art Institute of Chicago