The Aragon was built in 1926 by brothers Andrew and William Karzas at an exorbitant cost of two million dollars (the price of admission at the time was only 90 cents). Rumor has it the brothers designed the ballroom to dispel the belief that Chicago's dance halls served an immoral community, hoping to create an atmosphere where elegant up-and-comings could mingle in respectable surroundings.
The interior resembles a Moorish castle, with a ceiling painted like a starry, Spanish sky. Golden gilt appears throughout and an extravagant grand staircase that leads to a second level provides a major focal point. Though the interior does not glitter as it did in the roaring '20s, it's still possible to glimpse the magic and magesty of this building...just pop in during office hours to take a self-guided tour or ask someone on duty to point out the best vantage points. Photographs track the ballroom's history, renovation and current events, which today lean toward big-time rock concerts, as well as salsa and blues nights.
Centerstage Reviewer: Genevra Gallo
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