The Auditorium Building was considered the biggest thing in Chicago since the fire of 1871. Louis Sullivan began preliminary sketches in 1886, and the building was completed in 1890, costing $3,200,000. 63,350 square feet of space were divided into a four-hundred room hotel on Michigan and Congress Parkway, a business section for 136 offices and stores on Wabash, and a 4,200 seat theater in the tower.
Behind the project was Ferdinand Wythe Peck, who in 1886 was a real estate manager for his late father. An art and music lover, Peck had sponsored a number of cultural activities in Chicago. He spearheaded the "Grand Auditorium Association" to which many of Chicago's prominent businessmen contributed vast sums of money.
The original plans showed
Gothic details, but Henry Richardson's Marshall Field Store, completed
in 1885, greatly influenced the final plan.
Appears as #2 in this Rand McNally 1893 3-D map at the Univ.
of Illinois at