The Opera Lofts
The Opera Lofts building served as the set, stage and costume fabrication and storage facility for the Lyric Opera of Chicago (previously the Civic Opera and even earlier as the Chicago Grand Opera) for over 80 years. Built in sections between 1912 and 1924, the building was specially designed to accommodate the unique demands of large-scale opera sets, with oversized ceilings, concrete floors, and huge freight elevators. Over the years, hundreds of sets, backdrops, costumes, equipment and staging were designed, rigged, repaired and stored for use by the Opera.
The many costume designers, tradespeople, set and stage designers and builders brought to life representations of love, struggle, war, celebration, and of course song. Opera companies around the world collaborated with the Lyric Opera and it's predecessors and utilized the facility as well. The building overflowed with every manner of stage and set, from costumes to carriages and faux villas to Italian promenades.
Today it has been carefully adapted into living spaces as unique as the original building design. Every brick in the building is original to the structure, and evidence of it’s storied past abounds.
Chicago Daily Tribune, August 19, 1920, P.20