Art: The Landmark & the Law

Architect Louis Sullivan was the father of the modern skyscraper, but the tallest structure he ever got to build was the 17-story Garrick Building on Randolph Street in Chicago's Loop. It was a theater topped by offices, and in its best days it was a masterpiece of soaring arches, spiraling staircases, and original, light-catching setbacks. But time has not been kind: as Randolph Street degenerated, the theater turned into a rundown movie house. Finally this year its owners, a subsidiary of the Balaban and Katz theater chain, decided to tear it down and put up a garage.

As a result of a...

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