Indian Boundary Park Cultural Center

From HistoryWiki

Indian Boundary Park Cultural Center

2500 W. Lunt Avenue

Chicago, IL 60645

This fieldhouse is one of architect Clarence Hatzfeld'smost distinctive Tudor-Revival works, featuring Native American imagery that pays tribute to the region’s earliest inhabitants. On May 11, 2005, the building was given landmark status by the City of Chicago. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and serves as a Chicago Park District Cultural Center.

On May 20, 2012, disaster struck when an electrical fire started in a storage room in the Cultural Center attic, resulting in a collapsed roof, shattered windows, crumbling interior beams and a ten-foot high pile of debris in the center of the building’s Native-American motif auditorium.

Fortunately, the Chicago Park District committed to restoration of the building to its pre-fire condition, salvaging architectural or ornamental features from the debris to aid the effort. The $1.5 million project included new electrical systems, new interior finishes, a new slate roof, new steel roof beams, new copper gutters, masonry repairs and restoration of the historic chandeliers and wall sconces destroyed in the fire. The restoration was meticulous, earning the building its own Richard H. Driehaus Preservation Award, bestowed by Landmarks Illinois, in 2014.

Highlights of the building include the fully restored Assembly Hall, which features wood-beamed ceilings as well as distinctive lighting fixtures and sculpture featuring Native American motifs. The light fixtures were seriously damaged in the fire, but have been skillfully returned to their original magnificence. Elsewhere in the building, Tudor-Revival elements include dramatic gables with broad, shed-roofed dormers; a profusion of half timbering; casement windows with multi-paned glazing arranged in groups; and a window bay topped by stone battlements. Excellent design and craftsmanship in detailing and materials is exhibited by such elements as the Indian head sculpture located above the main entrance and the entrance pylons topped by stone lions.

See also: Indian Boundary Park, Indian Boundary Park Fieldhouse

House Tour Book Write-Ups

The Indian Boundary Park Cultural Center

Adapted from the Sunday, May 2, 2010 house tour booklet, page 3 and 4.

This picturesque one-and-a-half story field house was designed by architect Clarence Hatzfeld, who designed many of Chicago's park field houses. The building is notable for its distinctive combination of Tudor Revival (a Medieval-inspired style popular in the 1920s) and Native American imagery. Tudor Revival elements include dramatic gables with broad dormers clad with decorative stucco and half-timbering, a steep-side gabled slate-tiled roof; and casement windows arranged in groups. Other local buildings designed by Hatzfeld include many of the houses in the historic Villa District on Chicago's northwest side.

As you approach the field house, you will note the wood entry doors topped by the low-relief sculpture of a Native American head adorned with headdress. The main entrance opens onto an L-shaped foyer featuring terrazzo floors, carved wood-beamed ceiling, and distinctive lighting fixtures featuring Native American motifs. With its vaulted, beamed ceiling and massive fireplace, the auditorium on the west side evokes the feeling of a Western lodge and is filled with Native American Imagery, including the whimsical chandeliers featuring glass drums with metal arrow supports, coordinating wall sconces with metal feathers and arrows, and a bas-relief sculpture of a Native American in polychromed wood above the fireplace.