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The Forum

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Address

324 E. 43rd St.

Neighborhood

Bronzeville

Architect

Samuel A. Treat, 1897

Description

The Forum was built in 1897 and contains possibly the oldest hardwood ballroom dance floor in Chicago. This imposing red brick building played a significant role in Bronzeville’s cultural scene by hosting performances of music luminaries—including Nat King Cole—and providing space for civic groups and political meetings. After 40 years of vacancy, the Forum was deemed hazardously unstable. It was nearly demolished in 2011. New owners, Urban Juncture, bring fresh energy to the movement to restore the Forum and revive the surrounding area.