Our Home in Chicago: the Fine Arts Building

Our home in Chicago, the Fine Arts Building on Michigan Avenue, has a special history as a center for the arts. Originally known as the Studebaker Building, the structure was built in 1885 to a design by Solon S. Beman as a salesroom and service center for the Studebaker Carriage Company of South Bend, Indiana. The company quickly outgrew the building. Rather than sell it, however, in an act of extraordinary civic magnanimity the Studebaker family dedicated the Romanesque-style structure to the arts. By 1898 the building had become a “vertical arts center,” with the original spaces converted into studios for musicians, artists, crafts workers, architects, writers and others. In 1917 the Studebaker Theater was created. Home to many notable Chicago individuals and organizations, in 1978 the Fine Arts Building was declared a Chicago Landmark. Visitors to the Building will notice many beautiful Art Nouveau murals and decor throughout all ten floors. The 21st Century Chorale is honored to join a long list of august performers who have appeared at the Studebaker Theater.

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