Anker S. Graven was born in 1891 in Menomonie, Wisconsin,
the son of Scandinavian immigrant parents. Graven earned
a Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree from the University
of Illinois in 1917, apparently worked for an architect
in Cleveland for several years, and then set up his own
firm in Chicago in 1925. He specialized in motion picture
theaters and among his most prominent commissions were the
Fisher Theater in Detroit; the Minnesota Theater in Minneapolis;
and, the Keith-Albee Palace Theater, Rochester, New York.
In later years his firm was known as Graven & Magyer.
The building at 1300-06 South
Michigan Avenue is the only structure by the architect
identified by the Chicago Historic Resources Survey, the
City of Chicago’s comprehensive survey of potential
landmark structures built before 1945. Other buildings by
Graven in Chicago include the seven-story Starck Piano Company
Building, 234 South Wabash Avenue, of 1927, and the 25 story
Lawyers Building, 100 North LaSalle Street, built in 1929.