On this June 1st in 1960, the City of Chicago decided that the Garrick Theater Building could be torn down. Another obsolete remnant of the past was being replaced with something more modern and more functional, in this case a parking garage.
Not quite. The Garrick was an official city landmark.
Located at 64 West Randolph Street, the Garrick was a 17-story office tower with a 1,300-seat theater. Built in 1892, it had originally been known as the Schiller Building. Architecture scholars considered the complex one of the finest works of Adler & Sullivan.
By 1960 the Garrick was owned by the Balaban & Katz movie theater chain. That February the city's new commission on architectural landmarks designated the Garrick as one of 38 structures of "architectural importance." To much of the general public, who knew the Garrick as only a run-down Loop movie house, the announcement came as a revelation. So did the events that followed.
Two months after the landmark designation, Balaban & Katz cleared the office tower of tenants. In May came the news that the building would be demolished.