The Stony Island Arts Bank , designed by William Gibbons Uffendell and built in 1923, was once a vibrant community savings and loan. But by the eighties, the branch had closed and the building remained vacant and deteriorating for decades. Chicao Artist and urban planner Theaster Gates purchased the rundown bank building for just $1.00 from the city of Chicago and performed a radical restoration, turning it into an arts center now known as the Stony Island Arts Bank. While construction has been completed on the building, details of the century-old architecture have been preserved.
The radically restored building is the new home to Gates’s non-profit Rebuild Foundation, an organization focused on using cultural projects to influence urban redevelopment and community revitalization.It now serves as a space for neighborhood residents to preserve, access, reimagine and share their heritage – and a destination for artists, scholars, curators, and collectors to research and engage with South Side history.