Rudolph Ganz Memorial Hall – Chicago, Illinois - Atlas Obscura

Rudolph Ganz Memorial Hall

Roosevelt University

From banquet hall to Masonic Lodge and now concert venue, Ganz Hall is a breathtaking glimpse of into the golden age of American architecture.  

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Built in 1890, Rudolph Ganz Memorial Hall was originally a banquet hall located directly above the Auditorium Theatre. Ganz Hall is a collaboration of some of the greatest minds of their generation including painter Albert Fleury, designers Louis Millet and George Healy, and architects Louis Sullivan, Dankmar Adler, and Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Auditorium Building, designed by Adler and Sullivan with their apprentice Frank Lloyd Wright, was originally built as a five-star hotel and opera house. It was filled with luxurious details including electric chandeliers, arches covered in gold-leaf stencils, hand-carved designs atop wooden columns, hand-painted murals and intricate stained-glass windows.

During the Great Depression, the Auditorium stopped operating as a theater. The building was used as a serviceman’s center during World War II, and then by Roosevelt University starting in 1946. But many of the building’s luxurious spaces had faded away. The banquet hall’s chandeliers were replaced with more modern lights, and many of the intricate details were covered or removed. In 2003, the former banquet hall was brought back to life, using archival photographs to match the original details.

Today, Ganz Hall is a stunning performance space with the stained-glass windows, gold-leaf stenciled designs, intricate chandeliers, and hand-painted murals that have long made this breathtaking what it is.

Know Before You Go

Ganz Hall is located on the seventh floor of the Auditorium Building of Roosevelt University. Space is available for rent and may be closed to the public for private functions. Street parking is extremely limited.

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