Briar Street Theatre
The Briar Street Theater is located in Chicago, Illinois and is currently home to the long time running Blue Man Group. It originally was the carriage house for the Marshall Fields’ horses and was then bought by William Topel and reconstructed into the theatre it is today. Since this reconstruction, the theater has put on many different shows and performances yet the Blue Man Group remains the most recognized.
Built in 1901, this space was used as the stables where the horses used and owned by Marshall Fields would stay. These horses were used for the companies delivery service. As time passed, the lot became useless and in 1970, William Topel, founder of Topel and Associated, Ltd., bought the building from Werner Kennelly Moving and Storage Company and redesigned it into a sound stage and office where his film production company would thrive from. From 1977 to 1985, this building also housed William Topel’s post-production company, Cinetronics, Ltd. This business was later renamed Swell and later moved downtown in 1984. In 1985 the theater was reopened and became a part of the culture of Chicago. Today, the Topel family is still the owner of the venue and the original second floor actually hangs from the ceiling by large turnbuckles that can still be seen.