Audrey Niffenegger Announces New Location and Plans for Artists Book House

Artist's visualization of what ABH's new home might look like after renovations.


By CGN Staff

We recently heard that plans are underway, once again, for the construction of a permanent home for the Artists Book House, a space founded by author and artist Audrey Niffenegger and formerly planned to open in Evanston in 2026. Now the center will open on Chicago's north side in the Old Irving Park neighborhood, and it will open in phases according to levels of completion.   

An artist's book is an art object. Whereas a book contains mostly text and accompanying illustrations or photographs, an artist's book is a vehicle for artistic expression. An artist uses the form of a book and then chooses the other artistic elements to elevate the book, from design to materials, layout and structure.

Niffenegger envisioned ABH as a new kind of center to foster the creation of artists book as well as to celebrate them. She has made artists books herself and founded Columbia College's Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts. Niffenegger also taught in the school's MFA in Book and Paper Arts program. Artists Book House was originally going to occupy an extensively renovated historic lakefront mansion in suburban Evanston, but in January 2023 while facing increasingly insurmountable renovation costs, ABH's board decided to forgo their current plans and to reconsider where the center's home should be.  

In her announcement about the new location plans, Niffenegger shared, 

"I am delighted to report that Artists Book House has a new home: 4207 West Irving Park Road, in Chicago. This is a single-story, double storefront in the charming Old Irving Park neighborhood. It is near the Irving Park stops on the Blue Line and the Union Pacific Northwest Metra line. It’s just west of 90/94. It should be easy to visit us!"

Niffenegger also asked for critical donations of equipment or other helpful objects, as well of course—money. The ABH board is now working to advance design and construction plans for a bookshop, gallery, library, and studios for papermaking, printing, and bookbinding and seems to be on course to open around their originally planned date after all. 

To keep up with plans as they happen or to support ABH visit

You may read CGN's 2021 interview with Niffenegger here.