Stony Island Arts Bank
The Stony Island Arts Bank is a hybrid gallery, media archive, library and community center – and a home for Rebuild’s archives and collections. Designed by William Gibbons Uffendell and built in 1923, the bank at 68th Street and Stony Island Avenue was once a vibrant community savings and loan. By the eighties, the branch had closed and the building remained vacant and deteriorating for decades. Reopened in October 2015, the radically restored building 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.
The Arts Bank collections include:
- Johnson Publishing Archive + Collections: Books and periodicals donated by the Johnson Publishing Company, publisher of Ebony and Jetmagazine.
- University of Chicago Glass Lantern Slides: Over 60,000 slides of art and architectural history from the Paleolithic to Modern eras
- Edward J. Williams Collection: 4,000 objects of “negrobilia” – mass cultural objects and artifacts that feature stereotypical images of people of color
- Frankie Knuckles Records: “Godfather of House Music,” Frankie Knuckles’ vinyl collection
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Top image: The first-floor main hall of the Stony Island Arts Bank features a mix of partially restored as well as newly designed spaces such as the Johnson Publishing Library (above). Photo: Kevin Nance