72 East 11th Street was built in 1929 by Holabird & Root, architects of outstanding Chicago skyscrapers such as the Chicago Board of Trade, the Palmolive Building and the 333 N. Michigan Avenue Building. 72 East 11th Street, a six- story, limestone-clad Art Deco building, was originally owned by the Chicago Women’s Club and housed the organization’s meeting rooms, offices and a theater. Rich in history, it was the site for rallies in support of women’s voting rights, efforts on behalf of compulsory education laws and fund raising for scholarships at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a women’s dormitory at the University of Chicago. Subsequent owners and uses are unknown. Acquired by Columbia in 1980 as the school’s Theater Center, it currently houses a renovated 400-seat theater ,classrooms, and space for film and photography studios.


The Getz Theater Building is a six story with basement reinforced concrete frame structure with stone cladding on its 11th Street façade and brick on its other elevations. Its design is Art Deco, however the articulation of this style is found more in the details of the exterior than in its overall massing, which is decidedly horizontal rather than vertical. Based on the drawings, Robert Bruegmann (Holabird & Roche/Holabird & Root: An Illustrated Catalog of Works, 1880-1940, vol. II., p. 394, catalog #1148) claims the principal façade is granite and its decorative panels terra cotta; on visual inspection, they all appear to be limestone.

Quick Facts

  • Name: Getz Theater
  • Address: 62-72 East 11th Ave.
  • Size: 104 feet x 120 feet, 6 stories
  • Architect:
    • Holabird & Root, 1927-1930
  • Original Name: Chicago Women’s Club
  • Subsequent Names:
    • Jewish Education Building
    • 11th Street Theater
  • Acquired by College: 1981
  • Original Building Type: Club
  • Style: Art Deco

Information taken from the 2005 Campus Preservation Plan.