HYDE PARK — The DuSable Museum of African American History is getting a new outdoor events area through help from the city in time for the fall architectural biennial.
The $582,440 project will convert a gravel lot into a 15,000 square foot outdoor plaza on the eastern edge facing Washington Park on the museum’s roundhouse building, 740 E. 56th Place.
The city will put up $500,000 for the project, with the Chicago Park District contributing $82,440 in the hopes of getting the new space complete by the Chicago Architectural Biennial in September.
“This new outdoor event space at the DuSable Museum will be a unique location to celebrate special occasions in Washington Park,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in an announcement of the funding Monday afternoon. “As the nation’s oldest African-American museum, DuSable is the ideal place for patrons to come together.”
The new plaza will open as museum’s stalled roundhouse expansion is expected to get some new life for the biennial, with Palais de Tokyo taking over the space for exhibits.
The expansion, which would nearly double the size of the museum, has been stalled since the economic crisis and still requires $35 million to complete.
Once the plaza is complete, the museum will have an attractive new place to host fundraisers.