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Garrick Theater (Schiller Building)

Photo credit: Richard Nickel Committee and Archive
The Garrick Theater under demolition Photo credit: Richard Nickel Committee and Archive
Photo credit: Richard Nickel Committee and Archive
Protesters outside the Garrick Theater Photo credit: Richard Nickel Committee and Archive

This 19th century landmark building by Adler & Sullivan was the subject of yet another contentious preservation battle, fought hard — yet lost. The story of the Garrick Theater is the sad story of the architectural preservation movement in Chicago in the middle of the 20th century.

Photographer and preservationist Richard Nickel, disgusted at the city’s failure to respond to appeals to save its landmarks, famously told one of his contemporaries: “Great architecture has only two natural enemies: water and stupid men.”

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