Built in 1897, The Forum is home to the oldest assembly and social hall in Bronzeville and contains what may be the oldest hardwood dance floor in Chicago. This imposing red brick building was an epicenter of the “Black Metropolis”, the “city-within-a-city” created by African Americans to provide the retail and social needs they were barred from accessing within broader Chicago. The Forum hosted leading performers, prominent social events, and some of the era’s most important union meetings and political assemblies, while providing a wide range of hospitality and retail amenities. After remaining vacant for nearly 30 years, The Forum was narrowly saved from city-ordered demolition in 2011 by a neighborhood resident who brought together a team to stabilize the complex and develop a plan for its revitalization.
Join in the celebration of The Forum’s April 2019 listing on the National Register of Historic Places, the addition of a newly-commissioned artwork honoring its cultural legacy, and the recent announcement of a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to help complete stabilization efforts.