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