Outdoor event space opens at DuSable Museum

By TONIA HILL
Staff Writer

A brand new outdoor event space is now open at the DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Place.

“This new event space will provide an additional venue for museum visitors and residents of our community – and indeed for the entire city of Chicago to celebrate on the south side,” said DuSable Museum of African American History President & CEO, Perri L. Irmer in a written statement.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Park District Superintendent were on hand to open the new venue on Friday, Sept. 1.

The outdoor space is 15,000 square feet, situated on the eastern edge of the Roundhouse building. Construction on the project began July is now complete in time for the Chicago Architectural Biennial (CAB) this month.

“Since its founding in 1961 by Dr. Margaret Burroughs, the DuSable Museum has been a beacon of culture and history for Chicagoans and visitors from around the world,” said Emanuel in a written statement. “This new outdoor space alongside Daniel Burnham’s Roundhouse building provides a one-of-a-kind destination for celebrations and special occasions on Chicago’s developing south side.”

Previously the site was an asphalt lot. The project included rebuilding stairs in the Roundhouse basement, where permeable paver, landscaping, and building ornamental fencing along the south border, were installed.

Entry for the new space will be from 57th Drive to the north and Cottage Grove Avenue on the southeast edge..

The CAB will launch this month in conjunction with EXPO Chicago, and Navy Pier’s annual art and design convention. CAB will feature 141 participants from 20 countries at the Chicago Cultural Center and other neighborhood anchor sites around Chicago.

DuSable and the Hyde Parks Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave., are two local spaces that will be neighborhood anchor sites for the CAB.

Other sites include the Beverly Arts Center in the Beverly community, the DePaul Art Museum in Lincoln Park, the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen, and the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture in Humboldt Park.

The city and the park district provided funding for the outdoor event space.

The project at DuSable builds upon the Building on Burnham, an initiative by the mayor to invest in the Lakefront, the Chicago River, and natural areas and recreational opportunities in neighborhoods citywide.

t.hill@hpherald.com