Sep 24th 2021

Tickets for the exhibition will be $15 and are available online only at

Please note, admission is by advance ticket only. Walk-ups are not permitted.

Wrightwood 659 presents Romanticism to Ruin: Two Lost Works of Sullivan and Wright, a dual exhibition exploring two of these architects’ long-demolished masterpieces: Louis H. Sullivan’s innovative Garrick Theater, in Chicago, which stood for only sixty-nine years, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s unprecedented Larkin Building, in Buffalo, NY, which stood for just forty-four.

The exhibition comprises two distinct presentations—Reconstructing the Garrick: Adler & Sullivan’s Lost Masterpiece and Reimagining the Larkin: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Modern Icon—conjuring the essence of these two icons of modern American architecture. With 3D models and digital re-creations of the original edifices; salvaged architectural ornaments and artifacts; original furniture; historical documentation of the design, construction, and demise of the buildings; archival photographs taken by noted preservationist and photographer Richard Nickel; drawings, and historical ephemera, Romanticism to Ruin explores what made each building architecturally great and expressive of its era.

Curated by a Chicago-based team led by architect and historic preservationist John Vinci, with cultural historian emeritus Tim Samuelson, graphic artist Chris Ware, and Urban Remains founder Eric Nordstrom.

Curated by Jonathan D. Katz, Associate Professor of Practice, History of Art and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, University of Pennsylvania, and former Director, Doctoral Program in Visual Studies, University at Buffalo (SUNY).

Romanticism to Ruin: Two Lost Works of Sullivan and Wright is made possible by Alphawood Foundation Chicago.


COVID-19 Response 
For the presentation of Romanticism to Ruin: Two Lost Works by Sullivan and Wright, Wrightwood 659 will reduce gallery admission and capacity from pre-pandemic levels. Among other remedies and precautions, we have installed a state-of-the-art air filtration system and will continue to regularly sanitize public spaces. Out of an abundance of care for all, Wrightwood 659 plans to continue to require visitors and staff to wear masks while inside the building.

About Wrightwood 659
Wrightwood 659 is a private, non-collecting institution devoted to socially engaged art and to architecture. Located at 659 W. Wrightwood Avenue, in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, the intimate space officially opened on October 10, 2018, and presents two public exhibitions annually. Wrightwood 659 was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando, who transformed the interior of a 1920s building with his signature concrete forms and poetic treatment of natural light. For additional information:

Official Website

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