In 1911, on this site, a hotel known as The Riggs House was demolished and replaced by a Beaux Arts-style office building, The Riggs Building, completed in 1912 by the distinguished architect Jules Henri de Sibour. The centerpiece of the building was its grand theatrical auditorium, which rose six stories and could accommodate over 1800 audience members. The theater was purchased by B.F. Keith, the king of vaudeville in the eastern United States, and legendary performers who appeared there included Will Rogers and Laurel and Hardy.
In 1928, Keith added motion pictures to the presentations at his auditorium and, after sound came in, he switched over to an all-movie format. The theater eventually became the RKO Keith's Theater, and it continued showing movies into the 1970s.
In late 1977, the developer Oliver T. Carr announced plans to demolish the structure, now known as the Keith-Albee Building, as well as a neighboring structure, and build a mall on the square. This led to a long battle between Carr and preservationists who struggled to save the historic buildings. Finally, in 1979, a compromise was reached through which the exterior of the Keith-Albee would be preserved, as long as Carr was allowed to construct an office complex on the square, and so Jules Henri de Sibour's beautiful structure still exists to be admired, but only as a façade for the newer complex.