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South Side's Restoration on Full View for Open House Chicago

By Sam Cholke | September 25, 2015 6:17am

The Shrine of Christ the King is one of the many South Side restoration efforts open to the public for Open House Chicago. [DNAinfo]

HYDE PARK — The restoration of the south lakefront’s landmarks will be on full display during Open House Chicago.

Two hundred architectural gems across the city will open their doors to the public on Oct. 17-18

On the South Side from Douglas to South Chicago, visitors will get a special opportunity to see some of the neighborhoods’ most historic buildings as their owners fight to bring them back from near demise.

The Forum at 318 E. 43rd St. in Bronzeville was slated for demolition in 2011, but owner Bernard Lloyd is now slowly rebuilding the former dance hall. Normally closed for construction, the Forum will be open for visitors to see the bar and stage used in “The Sting” starring Robert Redford.

Theaster Gates’ Stony Island Arts Bank will also be open, only two weeks after the project to revive a long-abandoned Nation of Islam bank was officially finished and open. The bank at 6760 Stony Island Ave. will still have much of the art from EXPO Chicago and the opening of the Chicago Architectural Biennial, as well as its own collections of Frankie Knuckles’ record collection and the research archives from Jet and Ebony magazines.

The sites come in nearly every phase of completion, from the Shrine of Christ the King, which is still years away from being completed, to the Grand Ballroom in Woodlawn, which is fully restored after its own close calls with demolition in 2003.

Also on the list are the New Regal Theater in South Shore, which is still in the process of being restored, and numerous historic apartment buildings and houses of worship.

A full list of sites is available at openhousechicago.org.

The recently opened Stony Island Arts Bank is one of the most recently completed restoration projects on view for Open House Chicago.

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