Neighborhood Opportunity Fund Grant Will Support South Shore Arts Incubator

December 13, 2023

Department of Planning and Development    312.744.9267

A former private school in South Shore will be repurposed into a $9.3 million arts incubator through a Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (NOF) grant approved by City Council today.

The $2.5 million grant will be used by the Rebuild Foundation to rehabilitate the long-vacant St. Laurence School for artist studios that accommodate painting, drawing, woodworking, music, and other artistic endeavors that include public workshops.

Located at 1353 E. 72nd St., the three-story, 44,500-square-foot building was erected in the early 1900s by the Archdiocese of Chicago for St. Laurence parish, which closed in 2002. Later purchased by a supportive living developer for a project that did not move forward, the building was sold to the Rebuild Foundation in 2014, the same year the nearby St. Laurence church and parish hall were demolished.

The Neighborhood Opportunity Fund allocates fees paid by downtown construction projects to support neighborhood investment on the South, Southwest and West sides. Grant amounts exceeding $250,000 require City Council approval.