The Committee on Design has reviewed plans for the mixed-use expansion of the Black Ensemble Theater (BE) at 4427 N Clark Street in Uptown. Dubbed ‘The Free To BE Village’ and located across the street from the theater’s current building, the new development will replace a one-story commercial building and surface parking lot. Developed by the theater itself, they have contracted a design group made up of Nia Architects, Gensler, and Site Design Group for the work.
A groundbreaking for the Emmett Till House Museum was held this week along with the establishment of a national monument in his honor across the South Side. The museum will be located at 6247 S St. Lawrence Avenue in West Woodlawn, while the multi-state monument will include the Roberts Temple Church Of God in Christ at 4021 S State Street in Bronzeville. Both projects are expected to educate a wider audience of Till’s story and promote development of the surrounding areas.
The Chicago City Council has approved the final landmark designation for the Epworth Church at 5153 N Kenmore Avenue in Edgewater. Located south of the intersection with W Berwyn Avenue near Foster Beach, demolition efforts last year by a developer trying to construct residential on the site set-off the landmark process. Now the City Council has officially protected the structure which does not close it off to redevelopment opportunities.
In the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, the historic site of the Pilgrim Baptist Church, located at 3301 S Indiana Avenue, is undergoing a transformation into the National Museum of Gospel Music. The design of the project blends the past and present, incorporating the original limestone walls of the church. The developer for the project is Don Jackson, CEO of Central City Productions and founder of the Stellar Gospel Music Awards, in collaboration with architect Dirk Lohan of Wight & Company.
Additional funding has been announced for a new dance and community center at 5339 S State Street in Washington Park. Located just north of the intersection with E 54th Street and sandwiched between the namesake park and highway, the new facility will replace a long standing set of vacant lots owned by the city. The team behind the proposal is the Deeply Rooted Dance Company who currently operates downtown; no architect has been announced.