TimeLine Theatre Shares Updates About its New Home Project in Uptown

Aug 7, 2021
TimeLine Theatre new theatre in Uptown

TimeLine Theatre Company shared details about the current architectural design and other updates related to its ongoing project to develop a new home in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood. Located at 5033-5035 N. Broadway Avenue near the corner of Broadway and Argyle, the new facility will house TimeLine's future operations and support its mission of exploring today's social and political issues through the lens of the past.

Progress on the new home project has continued throughout the pandemic, even while the company's live productions have been shuttered since March 2020.

"This new building is an investment in the future of TimeLine-a home for artists, audiences, and community members that will ensure the company and its mission can endure," Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman said. "We want to create a space and an organization where artists are supported in doing their best work, where the community can thrive, and where the next generation will see themselves."

"We're creating a home that will enhance everything audiences love about TimeLine and take our work to a new level," Artistic Director PJ Powers said. "And we haven't stopped working toward that goal despite the last year's immense challenges."

Updates shared below include details about the new facility's architectural design, community engagement efforts in the Uptown neighborhood and beyond, fundraising progress to date, and a leadership transition and expansion as TimeLine's new home project moves into its next phases.

TimeLine has been collaborating with renowned architect HGA to design its new home since the firm's selection in June 2019, guided by design principles developed through strategic planning with TimeLine's Company, Board, and Staff, and working in tandem with consultants including Rotholz LLC (Owner's Representative), Schuler Shook (Theatre Planning and Lighting Design), Threshold Acoustics (Acoustic and A/V Design), Bulley & Andrews (Pre-Construction Services), and ESD (Technology and Security).

Over that time, HGA designers, consultant teams, and TimeLine representatives have moved through the complex design conceptualization, schematic design, and design development phases-informed by extensive site analysis and engineering studies.

The resulting building design features a fa├žade that offers an open, inviting presence to the Uptown community, and interior spaces that fulfill TimeLine's goal of creating an inspiring home that is driven by and supports the company's mission and ensures accessibility and inclusivity for all.

Upon entering, audiences and neighbors will encounter a lobby cafe and bar that encourages them to arrive early and stay late. At the heart of the building is a 250-seat flexible black box theatre that's built to be transformative, accommodating multiple seating and stage configurations to provide a unique discovery and vantage point for audiences at every production. Surrounding the theatre are exhibit galleries designed to support the immersive, interactive lobby experiences that are a TimeLine hallmark. And backstage, several areas tailored for collaboration and creation-including a rehearsal room, design and production studios, and staff offices-fully support artists and staff in their work.

Additionally, the company's Living History program will have dedicated space for its engagement with students, and that space also will be available for community meetings and events.

"Our engagement with HGA has been everything we hoped for and more," Powers said. "They have been ideal collaborators-responding to every idea, inspiration, and challenge during the process with deep insight, impressive problem-solving, and boundless creativity. And they've delivered a design that fulfills our dreams and much more."

With design development completed, the next step in the process is to develop construction documents in preparation for selecting a contractor for the project. Securing building permits, groundbreaking, and construction will follow. At this time, anticipated opening date for the building is early 2024. In the meantime, TimeLine will continue to maintain its operations in Lakeview East.

To read more about the design process for TimeLine's new home, visit the company's blog at timelinetheatre.com/2021/08/new-phase-for-new-home