Post shared from Ray Bees Facebook page:
Stony Island Art Bank opened this weekend and it’s amazing! This library is filled with hand picked books on the African diaspora and Black culture. There are reading rooms where you can spend time w/ all these books. There is also a listening room filled with Frankie Knuckles records that he has collected throughout his life. He donated them to the Rebuild Foundation/ Dorchester project before he passed away. The bank was purchased for $1 in 2012 and founder Theaster Gates has also relocated an entire archive of glass slides of art history & architecture into the bank. The Arts bank is free & in South Shore so go check it out sometime! You can definitely spend the entire day there. 6760 S. Stony Island Ave, Chicago IL (312.857.5561).
The Stony Island Arts Bank will serve as a platform for site-specific commissions and exhibitions, a venue for artist and scholar residencies, and a home for Rebuild’s archives and collections. Designed by William Gibbons Uffendell and built in 1923, the bank at 68th and Stony Island was once a vibrant community savings and loan. But by the eighties, the branch had closed and the building remained vacant and deteriorating for decades. When it reopens in the fall of 2015, the radically restored building will serve 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.
In my words: This place is BEAUTIFUL! Even though they’re still working on it, it is a must see. You know I am a lover of books and writing. Even better is to find a another little cozy place to engulf myself into my favorite hobby of reading, in “my own backyard”, so to speak. Honestly, the place gets 5 stars from me just for having tons of assorted books and collections in the Johnson Publishing Company Library. Pens are not allowed in the reading, obviously because these are books are of various collections.
The staff there was very welcoming and you can sign up for a FREE membership that allows you access to the books and other events happening at the Arts Bank. This establishment has wifi, a reading room with “open shelves” to check out books, there classroom reservations are for groups of 20 or less and weekly tours.
In this video, you can see inside of the library where books were shelved all the way up to the ceiling. We were wondering what did staff use to get to books that were higher up? Naturally we all agreed upon some sort of ladder is used or no one dares to ask to get a book way up top, just out of courtesy lol. These books are apart of a special collection access that members must attend a 20 minute library orientation on either Wednesdays or Saturdays at 11:30am to gain access to them. These library orientations are based on walk-ins and staff availability. I will be attending the upcoming orientation this Saturday.
To gain access to this Stony Island Arts Bank and other Rebuild Foundation events and locations, visit their website https://rebuild-foundation.org/ , trust me, you will enjoy it!