Amanda

By Amanda

LifeBuzz Staff

He Bought This Old Bank For $1… What He Did With It Is Simply Stunning.

When Chicago resident and urban planner Theaster Gates acquired the Stony Island Savings & Loan building on Chicago's south side, it was a complete mess. The roof had collapsed, the inside had been exposed to the elements, and the building was basically destroyed from top to bottom.

Gates bought the building for $1.

What he did with it then, though, is nothing short of impressive. Equipped with restoration and construction skills, Gates turned this 90-year-old building into a masterpiece for the community. You're not going to believe what he did with it.

Gates turned the 20,000 square foot space into a beautiful library.

Gates turned the 20,000 square foot space into a beautiful library.

Tom Harris © Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation.

The library opened to the public this month, and visitors are likely floored by what Gates has achieved in the space.

The library opened to the public this month, and visitors are likely floored by what Gates has achieved in the space.

Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation.

Some of the old details, like peeling paint and damaged tiles, have been kept to remind people that the building does have a long and interesting past.

Some of the old details, like peeling paint and damaged tiles, have been kept to remind people that the building does have a long and interesting past.

Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation.

The space will be used for exhibitions, as well as serve as a home for the Rebuild Foundation, which fosters cultural development in underinvested neighborhoods.

The space will be used for exhibitions, as well as serve as a home for the Rebuild Foundation, which fosters cultural development in underinvested neighborhoods.

Tom Harris © Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation.

Gates wanted it to be an institution for Chicago's south side.

Gates wanted it to be an institution for Chicago's south side.

Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation.

It's a place where African-American history and culture can be recognized and shared.

It's a place where African-American history and culture can be recognized and shared.

Tom Harris © Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation.

According to one article, "the arts bank houses the vinyl archive of Frankie Knuckles, regarded as the “Godfather of House Music,” as well as 60,000 glass lantern slides from the University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute."

According to one article, "the arts bank houses the vinyl archive of Frankie Knuckles, regarded as the “Godfather of House Music,” as well as 60,000 glass lantern slides from the University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute."

Tom Harris © Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation.

There are also plenty of book and magazine collections from African-American publishers.

There are also plenty of book and magazine collections from African-American publishers.

Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation.

As Gates put it in a press release, it's “a repository for African American culture and history, a laboratory for the next generation of black artists,” and “a space for neighborhood residents to preserve, access, reimagine and share their heritage, as well as a destination for artists, scholars, curators, and collectors to research and engage with South Side history.”

As Gates put it in a press release, it's “a repository for African American culture and history, a laboratory for the next generation of black artists,” and “a space for neighborhood residents to preserve, access, reimagine and share their heritage, as well as a destination for artists, scholars, curators, and collectors to research and engage with South Side history.”

Tom Harris © Hedrich Blessing. Courtesy of Rebuild Foundation.

Like this restoration project? Check out another one here.

Source: This Is Colossal

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