I believe the story behind it goes somewhat like this: there was a rich man who loved a woman who unfortunately failed to become admitted to the famous opera house in New York (forgot what this was called too...). So he decided to construct an even greater opera house for her in Chicago where she could be a part of whatever she wanted.

Unfortunately, immediately after the construction had completed, the Great Depression arrived and the man instantly became bankrupt, and the opera house was sold and became something else (although I think I may have my facts slightly wrong here, this is basically what happened... if anyone can correct me I'd really appreciate!)

I was wondering if anyone knew the name of the building, the man, and if there's a term commonly used when people describe this incident? I'm trying to go to Chicago with some friends this winter, and would like to be able to recount this story to them (somewhat like a tour guide!).

  • This actually sounds almost like Citizen Kane the movie ;) However, this really doesn't seem travel related. Could you explain how this relates to travel, rather than merely a history story? And edit your question accordingly? Otherwise I'm afraid I may have to close it... – Mark Mayo Supports Monica Oct 23 '11 at 13:50
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    This sounds like a really good question if it could be edited to make it slightly more travel-oriented. Please do edit and then it can be re-opened. – Ankur Banerjee Oct 24 '11 at 9:37
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    It's the Civic Opera House, and the man was Samuel Insull. Wikipedia has a detailed article on each. It's not unfinished, nor did it become anything else - it is currently the home of Lyric Opera of Chicago. As @MarkMayo correctly guessed, Citizen Kane is partly based on the life of Samual Insull, and some of the details you remember are from the film. – Colin Pickard Feb 21 '12 at 13:06

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