New outdoor event space planned for DuSable Museum

A rendering of the outdoor space planned for the DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Place. – Photo courtesy of the city of Chicago

Staff Writer

Renovations are underway for a new outdoor event space at the DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Place. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and leaders from the Chicago Park District made the announcement Monday, July 17.

The outdoor space will be 15,000 square feet, situated on the eastern edge of the Roundhouse building and will be completed in time for the Chicago Architectural Biennial (CAB) in September.

“This new outdoor event space at the DuSable Museum will be a unique location to celebrate special occasions in Washington Park,” Emanuel said in a written statement. “As the nation’s oldest African American Museum, DuSable is the ideal place for patrons to come together.”

Currently, the site is an asphalt lot. The upcoming project will also include rebuilding stairs in the Roundhouse basement, where permeable paver, landscaping, and building ornamental fencing along the south border, will be installed.

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

The CAB will launch in September 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 will provide 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.