Louis Sullivan’s Pilgrim Baptist Church Will be Renovated Into the Nation’s First National Museum of Gospel Music
When architects were asked to re-imagine Chicago’s neglected buildings for an exhibition, Dirk Lohan designed a revitalization plan for Louis Sullivan’sPilgrim Baptist Church. Soon Sullivan’s landmark building will become the nation’s first National Museum of Gospel Music, complete with a cafe, retail store, event space, research and listening library, and a 350-seat auditorium.
Lohan was inspired by his personal connection to the space which held voices such as Mahalia Jackson and Aretha Franklin. The museum design blends old and new by creating a steel structure that supports the old facade and a new solar-paneled roof simultaneously. Visitors will be able to appreciate Sullivan’s limestone walls from outside and inside this “building within a building.” Not only will this historic architectural landmark be revitalized, but Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood will be as well.