Sep 24–Nov 27, 2021

Romanticism to Ruin

Two lost Works of Sullivan and Wright
Address
659 W. Wrightwood, Chicago IL 6061 Map

They razed paradise to put up a parking lot
Two visionary masterpieces of American architecture that were razed to erect a parking lot and a truck stop will be memorialized this fall in an exhibition at Chicago’s Wrightwood 659, beginning September 24, 2021.

Romanticism to Ruin: Two Lost Works of Sullivan and Wright explores Chicago’s Garrick Theatre, by Louis H. Sullivan and Dankmar Adler, and Buffalo’s Larkin Building, by Frank Lloyd Wright, through two distinct presentations.

“Reconstructing the Garrick: Adler & Sullivan’s Lost Masterpiece” investigates the full life span of this long-lost treasure. Opened in 1892, the Garrick Theatre melded technology and creative architectural practice, most evident in the building’s 1,300-seat theater, with its magnificent ornamentation. Chicago-based architect John Vinci curated the presentation, which grew out of a drawing project of his to understand unknown aspects of the building’s interior circulation and construction. These drawings will be presented for the first time, along with archives, salvaged architectural ornaments and fragments, and haunting archival photographs by Richard Nickel. Tim Samuelson, Chris Ware, and Eric Nordstrom co-curated the presentation.

“Reimagining the Larkin: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Modern Icon” revisits a 1906 commission for a progressive mail-order conglomerate—the Larkin Company in Buffalo provided employee benefits and humane conditions for a largely female workforce. Featuring 3D models and digital re-creations, artifacts, and Wright-designed furniture and modular filing systems, the presentation was curated by Jonathan D. Katz, Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania.