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Coffey Group Architecture, LLC


Homan Square-Power House Museum

From the turn of the century, the Homan Square Power House was the muscle behind the original and sprawling Sears Roebuck and Co. headquarters on Chicago's West Side. Now decommissioned and part of the nationally-acclaimed Homan Square Community development, the Power House stands vacant but ready to serve new purposes for future generations.

COFFEY GROUP ARCHITECTURE, LLC* has proposed adaptive reuse of the structure as the a permanent home for traveling museum exhibitions. The main floor has up to 30,000 square feet of space with half of that being the grand old engine room. The Engine room with its 30-foot high, sky lit ceiling is clad with white glazed brick and mosaic-patterned tiles that add a sense of industrial décor.

This great space is ideally suited for gallery and large artifact displays. Smaller spaces on three levels adjacent to the boiler room provide areas for studios, meeting rooms, video presentations, a cafe, a gift shop, and administrative offices. An exterior canopy integrated into the old steel frame of the coal delivery siding creates a new public entrance to the building.

More than a historic artifact, the Power House will be one of the most unique and flexible spaces in Chicago and represents an era when even utilitarian structures were designed with grace and elegance.