Former Chicago Police Lockup Becomes New Home To Chicago Children’s Theatre

(CBS) — It’s hard to believe, but a rundown former police station has become the newest center for some of Chicago’s most talented children.

CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey reports.

The old Chicago Police Department 12th District station is now the home to the Chicago Children’s Theatre.

The theater organization bought the police station from the city of Chicago for $1.

Larry Kearns is the architect tapped to transform the 1947 building.

“Although it looked fairly scary, we knew it had good bones, and we knew we could pull this off,” he says.

Two years and $8.5 million later, the once-dated police station is now filled with classrooms, dressing rooms and even a former gun range turned into a costume closet.

Theater co-founder Jacqueline Russell says this new home was more than 11 years in the making.

“I hope that every child in Chicago gets to experience this place, whether it’s through classes or camps or student matinee programs, workshops,” she says.

Among the class offerings are iPhone film-making; trapeze; and acting.

All new concepts for an old piece of Chicago.

The theater company picked the West Loop for the new facility so that they had access to the West and South sides of Chicago, to offer classes to inner-city kids.

There are discounts and scholarships available. An open house is scheduled for Sunday.

For more information, click here.

 

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