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Here is one from 1919
View link Here is a circa 1930 view of the exterior, looking almost the same as it does now. The updated URL to Bryan’s 1950s postcard view is View link
View link Here is another 1960 view of the interior.
The book “Chicago’s Loop” claims that the Castle theatre on State was the first newsreel theatre in chicago, beginning in 1932
Over the weekend some of the ugly modern facade was stripped off of the attached Riviera Office Building, which stands vacant. Unfortunately the masonry looks to be in pretty poor shape, but perhaps restoration of the facade (maybe the office building will be condo-ized?) and theater as a whole will follow? One can only hope!
Probably a good chunk of SAIC students too
I don’t see how it could be. You can kind of see where the old elements were attached. But it doesn’t appear to be a false front- look in the upper left corner. I think it’s all brick, with the ornament literally shorn off. Shameful.
http://www.goodman-theatre.org/construction_1.asp is the new link to that page
A comparison of the building’s original facade, as the studebaker building, and after its remodeling as the fine arts building can be seen at http://www.ci.chi.il.us/Landmarks/F/FineArts2.html
The Historic American Buildings report on the Granada indicates that this was one of the first theatres designed by Alexander L. Levy.
Actually the link was working when I checked it, which was after ron posted his comment. I think it just takes a minute to load.
Here is Marina City’s architect, Bertand Goldberg, speaking about the planned theatre:
“Here is it necessary to think of the relationship to human size. For this relationship, we have used the Marina City theatre. The central form of the theatre and the sculptural concrete of the theatre has a degree of intimacy which none of the other structures at Marina City has. The theatre, itself, we call the Marina City Center, because it is at this point that people will disembark, and it is from this point that people may reach any other portion of the Marina City under cover with automatic forms of transportation – the escalator, and the elevator.
The theatre building is the building which will be seen in terms of greatest intimacy by the approaching pedestrian or passenger. This is a building which in its scale of forms we have retained personal intimacy and suggestion of masculinity. We hope that there is a physical quality to the design of the theatre, which will relate the onlooker to the composition as a whole.
The next slide shows the curious relationship of the structure of the theatre tot he physical structure of an arm. Where the exterior concrete frame of the theatre touches the ground, we have the elbow. At the extreme cantilevered reaching end, we have the hand. And high up, we have the shoulder. The roof is slung by means of catenary cables between the hand and the shoulder. The seats, the gallery, is supported along the concrete arm itself.
We have used many devices to relate the theatre form to the pedestrian. We have mentioned the masculinity of the form, we have mentioned the physical quality of the form. A third relationship is in the slope of the theatre overhang. This is identical to the slope of the automobile ramp, and will relate these complex buildings one to the other.
The next slide shows the rear of the theatre which will be the Dearborn Street frontage. Here you may see the shoulder muscles which are holding the shoulder down to the ground and which keep the structure from tipping over around its elbow. “
Ground-breaking on the new sidewalk studio in the former lobby space began today:
click here and and here
Demolition began today.
Sure, i’ll do that as soon as I get home. i’d appreciate it if you emailed me (click on my name) because any link I post will expire. I think the theatre had a tin ceiling as well, from what I was seeing in the rubble. When I was there, those tin wainscots were covered partially by some cheap pine. It’s really too bad it was torn down, it looked like it would’ve made a nice replacement for the Bottom Lounge, although there’s no telling what kind of shape it was in.
Well, I somehow doubt the foundation will be building the condos themselves. It would require a PRIVATE condo developer to build condos for PRIVATE citizens and owned by a PRIVATE landlord, and additionally need PRIVATE businesses to make PRIVATE investments in their PRIVATE ventures to operate their PRIVATE retail.
Seriously, concerned taxpayer, you’re wasting your time here. Maybe you don’t have an ulterior motive. Maybe you are just concerned with not paying a cent more on your taxes, damn the consequences. Maybe your rhetoric can convince some people to support you and your cause, but the people here have seen enough destruction and redevelopment that we can spot your fallacies a mile away.
Also, this article in the satirical paper “The Onion” reminded me of you. Perhaps you’ll enjoy it. View link
So, as one of the largest under-developed sites in Lombard, how is it NOT blighted? It looks to me like this particular TIF is being used precisely as intended.
http://patsabin.com/illinois/MichAveBldgs.htm Here is a postcard view of the Fine Arts building shortly after its renovation.
The scant lobby space can be seen here: http://www.ci.chi.il.us/Landmarks/F/FineArts.html
Also, here’s an interesting quote I came across: “The first American performances of George Bernard Shaw and Henrik Ibsen took place in the Fine Arts Building theater which some claimed was Chicago’s equivalent of Carnegie Hall.”
They were two halls under one roof.
Both. The division seems to have caused a lot of undue damage and the fact that it’s been sitting for some 15 years hasn’t helped. I’m told the basement is flooded quite badly. And it is apparently poorly secured enough that people can get in. It’s really unfortunate.
Thanks for your vivid description, Ken! I can really picture it now and your explanation makes much more sense. What was the interior like? I imagine it would be very plain
Was this later known as the Norval (Norwal? Normal?), operating into the 50s?
That’s all right. I just got the impression you were from the area. I think demolition is pretty certain- there’s been a sign announcing condos up for about six months and about a month and a half ago they cut a hole in the roof for some reason. It’s been fenced in for about the last month. http://www.lakeviewstation.com/ is the website for the condo development.
That’s correct. If you look at the roof it’s a little clearer. The rear of the theatre, I believe, is on dakin and there is a small rise at the ‘corner’ of the building, where a small stage may have been. I’ve never been inside. I wonder if this qualifies as an enter-at-rear theatre due to its odd configuration? The lobby is roughly in line with the stage, from what I can tell. At the peak of the ‘lobby’ section (narrow part) you can see some yellow enamel and rusted steel… I believe this was an earlier facade.
View link Well, i’m at least fairly impressed. This multiplex is, if nothing else, a step in the right direction.