Artist Buys Abandoned Chicago Bank to Transform It into Public Arts Center

1

Till recently, the 17,000 square feet (1,580 square meters) Stony Island Savings & Loan Bank on Chicago’s South Side was just an old, abandoned construction. Built back in the 1920s, it has been vacant since the 1980s and has remained in a deteriorating state for all these years. Who could imagine that this decaying structure would soon become an amazing art center?

2

In 2012, Chicago artist, social activist and urban planner Theaster Gates bought the building for $1.00 from the city of Chicago on the condition that he was to restore and repurpose it. As a result, some major modifications were made, the most significant of which was replacing the floor between the second and third levels. At the same time, Gates wanted to keep some details of the old structure, such as cracked plaster, peeling paint and the rusted vault, to preserve the historical heritage of the building.

3

“We changed what we needed to, but we didn’t want to erase history,” said Mejay Gula, an architectural designer who helped Gates put his vision into practice.

4

The construction was completed and the abandoned building was transformed into the Stony Island Arts Bank, which opened its doors to the public earlier this month.

5

Gate’s vision was to create a site that would help make culture and arts accessed by all, regardless of the social background one belongs to.

“One question that I am always asking myself is ‘Who has the right to amazing culture, the highest imagined possibilities of culture?‘ ” he told Chicago Reader. “I would say that has often been relegated to the wealthy and elite—whoever and wherever they come from.”

6

The three-story building now contains exhibition space, libraries and a reading room. It also houses the offices of the Rebuild Foundation, a nonprofit organization that Gates founded in 2010 aimed to bring culture and development to underinvested neighborhoods. There are also the vinyl archive of Frankie Knuckles, often referred to as the “Godfather of House Music,” and a collection of antique glass lantern slides.

7

The Stony Island Arts Bank features installations, exhibitions and all kinds of art events. It is open to the public from Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Currently, the arts center is hosting an exhibition by Portuguese artist Carlos Bunga, whose installation, titled Under the Skin, consists of tall columns made of cardboard.

8

Via The Mind Unleashed

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave Your Comment Below

More Inspiring Stories

Numbers on Stairs Help Kids Learn to Count
The Barcode Project
Artist Philip Beesley Merges Chemistry, Artificial Intelligence, And Interactivity To Create “Living” Architecture
Sculptural Steel Labyrinth at a Former Coal Mine
Wood Bridge In Netherlands
Brutalist Breuer Building Owned By IKEA Could Become Hotel In Connecticut
The Breathtaking Beauty Of Shah-e-Cheragh Mausoleum In Iran
Amazing Photographs Documented Victorian Houses Moving In San Francisco In The 1970s
This Underwater Observatory in Lake Zug in Switzerland Looks Like a Real Life ‘Truman Show’ Door
Designs of the Year
The Beautiful Buenos Aires Bookstore Inside A 100-Year-Old Theatre
Architect Imagines The Homes Of Fairy Tale Characters
Slinningsbålet: The Battle For The Biggest Bonfire In The World
Paris Mayor’s Race Offers Chance to Reimagine City
A “Ghost Tower” in Bangkok
World’s Longest Tunnel Slide To Open In London This Summer
Brutalist Buildings Made From Lego Bricks
Check Out this Ambitious House Built Into a Cliffside in Greece
This Instagram Account Combines Brutalist Architecture With Giant Cats
Most Expensive Home in the World has 27 Floors, Ocean and Slum Views
Walkie Talkie Building in London Creates 'Death Ray' with Reflected Sunlight
This Cave-Like Art Gallery Has Been Built Inside A Sand Dune
Colorful Lines, Inspired By The London Underground, Will Lead You To Classrooms At This Language School
Minimalistic Photos Of Architecture That Pop With Color, Geometrical Elements
A Businessman Built a Real 'Hogwarts' School in The Russian City of Yekaterinburg
People In Montreal Are Playing On Light-Filled Seesaws This Winter
Toledo Metro Station by Oscar Tusquets Blanca
Atmos Studio Creates Amazing StairStalk Staircase For HIDE Restaurant In London
These Haunting Pictures Of An Abandoned Funeral Home Will Send A Shiver Down Your Spine
This McDonald's Is Built Into An Old Colonial Home