What could be more tragically romantic than dying while trying to save remnants from a beautiful & historic Adler & Sullivan building slated to be demolished?
This is "what Richard Nickel did", when he fell through the floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange and was buried in the rubble in 1972.
If this intrigues you, I suggest you check out "Richard Nickel's Chicago: Photographs of a Lost City." Here you will see the collected photos by Richard Nickel. His collection includes candid photos of Chicagoans of all types from diverse neighborhoods and of course, photos of amazing buildings that were leveled in the name of progress.
The destruction of the Garrick Theater (see photos) to make way for of all things a parking lot made me gasp out loud. Ironically, the site is the location of the new Goodman Theater.
On the day after his body was discovered, a Chicago Sun-Times editorial cartoon honored him with a drawing of a gravestone with the epitaph:
Killed in Action
rescuing Chicago architectural treasures
and from the man himself:
"What a fool I must be. Why am I horsing around, moving the stones from one warehouse to another, while everybody else is making a dandy living, have their own lives and apartments and houses, etc.? It's even a problem for me to buy a car." (Sound familiar anyone?)
"Great architecture has only two natural enemies: water and stupid men."