September 18, 2012


While paint cans and stray screws still litter the cement floor, Logan takes shape from the inside out.

As construction continues on the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, students and faculty have noticed yet another change in the skyline over the South Side.

Last Saturday UChicago resident-housing staff threw on hard hats and safety goggles for a walk through of the unfinished arts building.

As the tour moved from the lower floors up to the tower, Bill Michel, AB’92, MBA’08, executive director of the center, noted how the building uses natural light whenever possible. Much of the ground floor studio space is illuminated by skylights, and huge panes of glass cover much of the tower’s exterior, offering views of the campus, the neighborhood south, and the center’s third-floor terrace. Open staircases keep the space between the floors continuous and promote foot traffic over elevator rides.

Performance rooms and production studios are scattered throughout the building, encouraging artists working with different media to mix together. There are music practice rooms on every floor of the 11-story tower, tucked between classrooms, visual-arts studios, or dance and theater labs.

With all this space—180,000 square feet, to be precise—the Logan team envisions the center as a resource available to area public schools without in-house facilities for the arts. As Michel noted, elementary students are more eager to get to work at 8 a.m. than most University students and faculty.

In addition to the classrooms and studio space, the center features a 474-seat performance hall, a three-story performance penthouse, a conventional proscenium theater, and a black-box theater designed for innovative and experimental staging and seating arrangements.

Michel stressed that the Logan Center is one among many spaces for the arts on campus and is not intended to replace existing venues. Mandel Hall and Ida Noyes will continue to serve as performing and rehearsal spaces for campus organizations.

If all goes according to plan, classes and some events will be held at the center during its preview period this spring quarter. Construction will continue through the summer until the official three-day Grand Opening Celebration scheduled October 11–13.