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Proposed dance studio would reuse the facade of historic Lincoln Park church

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The front of the 19th century structure would be visible behind the glassy walls of a new bKL-designed building

The former Hermon Baptist Church at 1754 N. Clark Street.
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Located directly across from Chicago’s Lincoln Park, the 140-year-old brick facade of the former Hermon Baptist Church will live on as part of a new, modern dance studio planned for 1754 N. Clark Street. According to zoning documents filed with the City of Chicago, the new, angular structure would include a new facility for the Giordano Dance Company, ground floor retail space, and a rooftop terrace. Clad in glass and metal, the design comes from Chicago’s bKL Architecture.

The redevelopment of the Hermon Baptist site has been in discussion since the church put the building up for sale in 2012. Initially seeking $6.5 million, the asking price was slashed to $3.25 million by 2015.

The property went under contract in 2016 after Ranquist Development Group announced a plan for a 12-story condo tower for the site. The project—as well as the pending sale—never materialized once neighboring condo towers refused a sale of air rights, citing concerns over blocked views.

The property was ultimately purchased by Chicago-based Giordano Dance Company in April of this year for an undisclosed amount. While the new building will require a zoning change from RM-5 Residential Multi-Unit District to B3-5 Community Shopping District, the site’s density—measured in buildable Floor Area Ratio (FAR)—would remain unchanged at 5.0.