Chicago Landmarks

Nickel (Richard) Studio

Front Elevation     Address: 1810 W. Cortland Street
Year Built: 1889
Architect: Unknown
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: June 9, 2010

Cornice Detail 1969 Photo By Nickel Constructed in 1889, the Richard Nickel Studio at 1810 W. Cortland St. was owned for a three-year-period from 1969 to 1972 by architectural photographer Richard Nickel, a prominent and significant figure in the early historic preservation movement in Chicago. Nickel's passionate, but ultimately unsuccessful, crusade to save Adler & Sullivan's Garrick Theater in 1960 is generally regarded as one of the first and most prominent grass-roots preservation efforts in Chicago. Nickel purchased 1810 W. Cortland in February 1969 and began work to convert it to serve as his home and studio. It is the only building Nickel ever owned, and he used it as a base for his architectural salvage work, storing and photographing architectural fragments there. His untimely and tragic death while salvaging architectural fragments from the Chicago Stock Exchange in April 1972, however, occurred before the studio could be completed. The Richard Nickel Studio retains the majority of the original physical characteristics and design features including its cast-iron street-level storefront with its large display windows, brick and limestone wall materials, and ornamental pressed-metal cornice.

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