Restoring Louis Sullivan Stencil Designs
In 2014, with the help of the Efroymson Family Fund, we began to renovate and restore our second floor dress circle lobby, now The Elissa Lobby. This interior — spanning 12 ceiling bays and 2 fireplace inglenooks — was originally designed by the now-legendary architect Louis Sullivan.
During the process, our historian Bart Swindall discovered photos taken in 1890 by J.W. Taylor showing that the lobby arches, columns, and inglenook ceilings of the dress circle lobby were originally treated with intricate stencil designs.
With these findings, we reached out to our trusted restoration partner Historic Surfaces to gain a more historically accurate understanding of this interior. Now we are working to install the intricate Louis Sullivan stencil designs that once covered The Elissa Lobby.
The next time you visit the theatre, please stop by The Elissa Lobby on the second floor to see our progress. We hope you are just as inspired as we are to see another piece of the Auditorium Theatre restored to its original glory.