20 N. Wacker Drive
The world-renowned Lyric Opera of Chicago performs in one of North America's most beautiful opera houses, the Civic Opera House. The opera house was the vision of utility magnate Samuel Insull (1859-1938), a populist billionaire known as "the Prince of Electricity." Insull, the president of the Chicago Civic Opera Association, wanted to erect a new opera house to replace Louis B. Sullivan's Auditorium Building as the home of the Chicago Civic Opera.
From its opening on Nov. 4, 1929 (just six days after the stock-market crash) until Lyric Opera of Chicago was founded in 1954 (as Lyric Theatre), the Civic Opera House was home to the Chicago Civic Opera, Chicago Grand Opera Company, Chicago City Opera Company and Chicago Opera Company.
The Civic Opera Building is a majestic limestone skyscraper with a 45-story office tower and two 22-story wings. Shaped like a gigantic throne facing the Chicago River between Washington and Madison streets, it was completed after just 22 months of planning and construction. The auditorium and its backstage areas occupy approximately one-third of the total space of the building. The distinguishing feature on the Wacker Drive side of the Civic Opera Building is the colonnaded portico that runs the entire length of the building.
* Content provided by the Chicago Lyric Opera