The Auditorium Theatre lobby renovation presented a two-fold challenge: re-establish the grandeur of the original Congress Parkway entrance and re-unify the lobby with the exterior. In the 1950s, decades after the original building had been designed by Louis Sullivan, these areas had been forcibly divided into a sidewalk arcade and small lobby by the widening of Congress Parkway. The Theatre itself required extensive upgrades to the house and stage in order to host traveling Broadway shows.
We replicated the Adler and Sullivan cast iron fan windows arching above the Theatre’s front doors in painted steel, re-establishing the Theatre’s architectural presence at the street and civic level. Inside the lobby, we revived the plaster-coffered ceiling, freeing the two plaster columns from a limestone enclosure from the 1950’s. Visitors can now appreciate the faux marble column finish and historically-replicated paint colors and stenciling of the original. New accessible restrooms and a donor room were added to improve patron amenities and bring the building up to contemporary code standards.