Artist Buys Abandoned Building For $1 And Makes Unbelievable Restoration
Chicago urban planner and founder of Rebuild Foundation, Theaster Gates, Jr., has created a beautiful restoration of the abandoned Stony Island Savings & Loan Bank building, while maintaining its historical value.
He bought the building for only $1 on the condition that it is restored and repurposed. Gates transformed the place as the newest cultural hub for black artists, scholars, curators, collectors, local residents and as a home for his foundation. He renamed the place as Stony Island Arts Bank which opened its doors to the public last month.
In 2012, Gates bought the building in deteriorating state. He needed to raise $3.7 million for the rehabilitation. Gates did everything he could to raise the amount, including selling some of the marble chunks of the building as “bank bonds” to support the project.
The art building houses the books and magazines of John H. Johnson, founder of Ebony and Jet, the record collection of the Godfather of House Music, Frankie Knuckles and glass lantern slides from the University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute.