The University of Chicago is getting closer to its grand conversion of the old Chicago Theological Seminary buildings at 58th and University into the Economics Department. The new Becker Friedman Institute, as the department is named, will work with much of the existing stock with one major addition thrown in. That's a good thing, since the cathedral building is quite the stunner. Back in July 2011, we encountered the first crop of renderings for the conversion, by Boston-based Ann Beha Architects. They're still on the job, but the renderings have evolved into photorealism with more graceful exterior alterations. Recent news of the Seminary Co-op Bookstore's closure and relocation suggests looming site activity. One community that may find itself in a tizzy is the preservationists, since the rendered addition runs behind and attaches itself to a few of Woodlawn Avenue's old mansions. This block has been on preservation watch lists for some time with the knowledge that U of C is in expansion mode. Tip 'o the hat to SkyscaperPage's Spyguy.
·New Renderings of U of C's Plans for Theological Seminary [Curbed Chicago]
·Preservationists seek to protect Chicago Theological Seminary buildings as complex converts to a different religion [ArchitectureChicago PLUS]