Catapult worked for visionary artist and community leader, Theaster Gates, to re-purpose the three story, 24,000 square foot historic building at 68th and Stony Island in Chicago.
Theaster rescued this landmark from demolition after it remained vacant for over 30 years. The extremely deteriorated condition of the building (including 4 feet of standing water in the basement) only added to Catapult’s challenging assignment of managing the many moving parts of the Arts Bank development in support of Gates’ vision for the space.
Catapult provided the experience and staff to navigate a wide variety of tasks including:
- Bidding and contractor selection
- Design oversight and Architect selection
- Construction and consultant management
- Obtaining building permits
- Loan negotiations
- Construction draws
- Historic tax credit management
- National Register of Historic Places listing
- Land acquisition
The Arts Bank has already garnered international attention and will house galleries, offices, studios, performance space, the archives of Ebony & Jet magazine founder, John H. Johnson, as well as the record collection of house music pioneer, Frankie Knuckles. Gates describes the Arts Bank as, “An institution of and for the South Side – a repository for African American culture and history, a laboratory for the next generation of black artists and culture-interested people” and, “A space for neighborhood residents to preserve, access, re-imagine and share their heritage, as well as a destination for artists, scholars, curators, and collectors to research and engage with South Side history.”
“Being involved from start to finish in the process of transforming this beautiful but neglected structure has been both rewarding and challenging since each issue and obstacle had needed to be addressed and resolved with an eye to staying on schedule and budget” said Dincin. The Arts Bank serves as an excellent example of how Catapult’s development, construction, legal and management skills converge to bring a complex and challenging project off the ground and to completion.”
The Arts Bank grand opened as part of the Architectural Biennial on October 3, 2015.