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Fine Arts Building, Chicago

4.5
#60 of 100 in Nightlife in Chicago
The ten-story Fine Arts Building, also known as the Studebaker Building, is located at 410 S Michigan Avenue across from Grant Park in Chicago in the Chicago Landmark Historic Michigan Boulevard District. It was built for the Studebaker company in 1884–5 by Solon Spencer Beman, and extensively remodeled in 1898, when Beman removed the building's eighth (then the top) story and added three new stories, extending the building to its current height. Studebaker constructed the building as a carriage sales and service operation with manufacturing on upper floors. The two granite columns at the main entrance, 3ft in diameter and 12ft high, were said to be the largest polished monolithic shafts in the country. The interior features Art Nouveau motifs and murals dating from the 1898 renovation.Currently, true to its name, it houses artists' lofts, art galleries, theatre, dance and recording studios, interior design firms, musical instrument makers, and other businesses associated with the arts. It also holds offices of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Jazz Institute of Chicago, the Grant Park Conservancy, the World Federalist Association, the Chicago Youth Symphony, the Boitsov Classical Ballet School and Company, and the venerable Artist's Cafe, known to generations of late-night diners. It was designated a Chicago Landmark on June 7, 1978.
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Fine Arts Building Reviews
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  • The beautiful Studebaker Theater was built in 1885 housing and selling the Studebaker carriage. The large picture windows in the front displayed the new vehicles which were produced on the 6th floor. ...  more »
  • The Fine Arts Building offers a fascinating glimpse of architecture in the early 1900s. It showcases art from its earliest artists on the top floor and hosts an interesting selection of artist studios...  more »
  • Strolling along Michigan Avenue (Michigan avenue), on the corner of the left side sits another attraction of Chicago fine arts building. The building is leased for more than 100 years under art studios, editorial magazines, Ballet classes, here also show movies. Be sure to scroll to the fine arts building. Next, you will be able to continue the journey to the area of the Congress.
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  • This is a really beautiful old building. Lots of history. Lots to see and hear. You really need a reason to be in the building - it seems open to the public but most of the shops seem to require appointments. I am there for Windy City Wedding Dance (Jessica, the owner, is awesome and I would absolutely recommend her studio...plus it's a reason to be in the building!). There are Tiffany fixtures, all sorts of awesome stone work and art and woodwork all over. Even the elevators are cool. Bottom line is that it's a beautiful building.
  • Cute little building full of arts! The elevator is hand operated! Must visit for 2nd Fridays the whole building opens its doors to visitors and showcases all it has to offer
  • Cool building, lots of unique artist studios. Some shops. Make sure to ride the elevator!
  • Fine Arts Building is home to the Studebaker Theater. Don't miss it when it is open to the public one weekend a year in October during the Chicago Architectural Foundation's Open House Chicago.
  • An excellent reminder of the old style of Chicago. Worthy of a second visit. Few places I've seen where there is still an elevator operator present.

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