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Photos: Inside the New Old Town School of Folk Music

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The kind-hearted folks at the Old Town School of Folk Music have been generous enough to let the public tour their new Lincoln Square facility while construction crews busily put on the finishing touches. Slated to open in January, the remaining work is largely cosmetic. Curbed met up with a scheduled tour today to snap some interior shots and learn a bit more about the building.

The new school/performance space, directly across from the old Lincoln Square school is a modern leap for the school which has always been housed in older, less specialized buildings, both in Lincoln Square and Lincoln Park. We met up with Executive Director Bau Graves, who led a sizable group through the tangle of construction gear to the upper floors, where the classrooms are further along. There are 17 standard classrooms, each with a different paint job. They've been given far better acoustic treatments than any of the Folk School's previous spaces. The walls are extra thick and absorbent, and the piping inside the walls is sheathed in rubber to dampen unwanted noises. Interspersed with these small classrooms are large dance studios (three of them) with double-high ceilings, sprung floors, and big ass fans (from the Big Ass Fan Co).
Down a level is the main auditorium which seats 150 on collapsible bleachers. The randomly strewn tiny windows at its front add a patterned backdrop to a performance, when desired. Just outside the auditorium, a balcony looks down upon a large atrium and grand staircase. Concert-goers will process up these stairs, which will be decorated with famous R. Crumb illustrations from his "Heroes of Blues, Jazz, and Country" collection. The atrium itself is a bright, airy space and quite electric. Finally, the ground floor will boast a cafe, informal jam space, and five fortified practice rooms— dubbed "punk rooms", for to this space is relegated the loudest music. It ain't all folk, folks. The $18M project will relieve high demand on the older locations. It is shooting for LEED Gold certification.
·Official Site: Old Town School of Folk Music

Old Town School of Folk Music

4545 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 Visit Website