South Shore Cultural Center

The South Shore Cultural Center (SSCC), designed by Marshall & Fox Architects, encompasses the building and grounds of the former South Shore Country Club in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated City of Chicago Landmark, SSCC is a fine example of Mediterranean Revival style with stucco exteriors and terra cotta Spanish tile roof. The project involved restoring the entry pergola, colonnade, and trellis, a rehabilitation of existing ornamental windows and entry doors, a repainting of highly detailed ornamental reception rooms, and a restoration of the outdoor promenade to include accessible access.

During the years since it was purchased, the four-story SSCC suffered significant deterioration and starting in 2016, a project was initiated to address key elements of the building, including almost all exterior elements of the project. When completed in 2019, this included the restoration of the grand entry pergola with its floating trellis roof that encircles an elaborate garden designed by landscape architect Thomas Hawkes. Existing historic windows in disrepair, a whopping 45 different styles and configurations, were repaired and repainted. The stone balustrades at the four penthouses were beyond repair and had to be replicated in all their detail; pieces of one of the least damaged of the in-situ balusters were carefully removed and reassembled, providing a pattern for the cast stone mold, maintaining the size and profile of the original members, matching the original limestone with precision.

Major areas of the stucco façade were repaired on all elevations, and the pebble dash finish was recoated to preserve it for another generation. Phase two of the project not yet underway included preparing documents for the restoration of the outdoor theater area, which will be fully accessible when completed.