Music Institute

Evanston, Illinois

Along with the accompanying 2-story commercial building, The University of Chicago purchased this landmark theater in 2002  with plans to make this the cornerstone of a revitalized 53rd Street commercial district. Originally opened in 1915 as a 1,200 seat vaudeville house, by the early 1990’s the theater and retail complex had fallen into significant disrepair and were mostly vacant.

OKW led a team in the careful restoration of brick and terra cotta façades, and the reconfiguration of the interior spaces into a viable assembly of retail and office tenants, a multi-screen 389 seat movie venue, and multi-use spaces.  A coordinating theater marquee and vertical sign adorn the Theater’s facade in a design capturing the character of the century-old theater building while reflecting the modern spirit of contemporary Chicago. The restored local landmark re-opened in January 2013.