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Inside Theaster Gates' New Stony Island Arts Bank, Opening October 3

Theaster Gates' new Stony Island Arts Bank is part library, part community center, part event space and part study in South Shore neighborhood architecture and civic history. Originally built in 1923 as the Stony Island Trust & Savings Bank, the building had sat vacant for three decades before the Rebuild Foundation took it over in 2012. The organization is working feverishly to complete the final touches on the 17,000 square foot building to prepare it for its big grand opening on October 3 during the kickoff of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The building was once part of a long stretch of buildings on a thriving commercial corridor, but now it stands surrounded by strip malls and fast food restaurants. To Gates, the idea was to not only build a new cultural center, but to also change the notion of what an artist-run space can be. "One question I'm always asking myself is who has the right to amazing culture?" Gates suggests, "It's important for cultural producers, like black people who create jazz, and go to church and dance, to have that space."

Curbed Chicago has all the photos. >>