An Independent Civic Space

1515 E. 52nd Pl., Chicago IL 60615

For now, we’re open only for events and by appointment

Get in touch at info@floodshall.org


Flood’s Hall will be closed until Nov. 11th for some exciting space upgrades. Stay tuned!

Our first community assembly at 57th St. Wines. Photo by Joel Worthington / @aphototypinglife

Our first community assembly at 57th St. Wines. Photo by Joel Worthington / @aphototypinglife

Community Input

What do you want to exist in your neighborhood civic space?

What types of groups, workshops and programming could you help bring to our space? 

(Submissions are anonymous, so if you want to get involved or have a question, leave your name and contact info so that we can respond.)

About Flood’s Hall

Flood’s Hall is an independent space dedicated to supporting civic-minded groups and projects on the South Side. Flood’s Hall offers free meeting space and operational support to expand the resources and networks available to groups working toward economic, environmental and social justice in their communities.

We’re still developing and experimenting, but our hope is that Flood’s Hall will be a safe and inclusive space that contributes to Chicago’s cooperative economy landscape.

Together with Southside residents, Flood’s Hall will:


Our goal is collaboration, mutual support, and the creation of networks that dismantle debilitating forms of separation, isolation and loneliness.

  • Provide multi-disciplinary programming

  • Offer operational support to community groups to help bring their ideas to life

  • House shared books, technology and supplies

  • Support local businesses, small enterprises and community groups

  • Support public interest groups that advocate for workers’ and freelancers’ rights

  • Foster an intentionally intergenerational, anti-sexist, and anti-racist community


Get Involved


*Fred Moten and Stefano Harney use this phrase in their book The Undercommons, meaning "studying with people rather than teaching them," and "studying with people in service of a project."

Do you have ideas for specific classes, workshops, gatherings, skill shares, actions, working groups, talks, etc. you'd like to see in your neighborhood? Click here to get involved with us!

Flood's Hall is a project built with and for its community,* so you play a critical role in making sure a wide variety of interests and skills are represented in our space.

Some ideas we have are:

A sustainable paper-making workshop at Flood’s Hall

A sustainable paper-making workshop at Flood’s Hall

  • Senior social center

  • Sunday morning cartoons &

    all-you-can-eat cereal

  • Parent advocacy programming

  • Teachers Resource

  • Computer literacy classes

  • Caregivers Alliance

  • Coding workshops

  • Queer safe/brave spaces

  • Mentorship/apprenticeship programs

  • Book clubs

We are eager to grow our team, create partnerships, and help support other projects, so if you're excited by the prospect of this kind of hub, get in touch! We'll find a way for you to create your own role within our project. 


Our Space

Image from University of Chicago Special Collections, via the Hyde Park Herald.

Image from University of Chicago Special Collections, via the Hyde Park Herald.

We take our name from the 1874 building Flood’s Hall, part of Flood’s Block, which existed across the street from our space on the southwest corner of 53rd Street and Lake Park.

Flood’s Hall was one of the first spaces in the neighborhood where community groups could meet for free, and where a public reading room was maintained.

The “new” Flood’s Hall will occupy the third floor.

The “new” Flood’s Hall will occupy the third floor.

Our short-term goal is simply to transform nearly 6,000 square feet of underused space with community input in a way that benefits our neighborhood and those surrounding it.

Ultimately, we aim to carve out a hub for socially-minded groups that otherwise might have to work doubly hard to find space, materials, resources, and networks. Together we will build networks of reciprocity and create opportunities for meaningful social activity and organization.



Our logo is inspired by the local public sculpture "Destino" by Mark Di Suvero at 53rd and Lake Shore, for which Di Suvero has given us his blessing, and personally sent us a couple of his own books for our library!

Photo via Public Art in Chicago






We are indebted to the examples of so many movements, spaces and organizations, but want to shout out to a couple of especially inspirational local ones. Like them, Flood’s Hall aims to be a place for coherent and incoherent needs to be met along alternative economies built on genuine relationships.

The wonderful Living Room Cafe, in Woodlawn, was a place for people to gather for community events, substance use recovery meetings, and to volunteer. It was also a place to go for a free, hot meal in the neighborhood, served four times per week. The space helped members of its community become employed and permanently housed.

Photo of SHoP by Lizzy Szwaya

Photo of SHoP by Lizzy Szwaya


"Amnesia leads to despair in many ways. The status quo would like you to believe it is immutable, inevitable, and invulnerable, and lack of memory of a dynamically changing world reinforces this view...The other affliction amnesia brings is a lack of examples of positive change, of popular power, evidence that we can do it and have done it.

- Rebecca Solnit,

Grounds for Hope

Southside Hub of Production (SHoP, 2011-2014) was an independent community cultural center in Hyde Park. An initiative of Laura Shaeffer, John Preus, Mike Phillips, and Andrew Nord, SHoP was the outgrowth of The Op Shop (2009-2015), a roving autonomous zone utilizing empty storefronts on a temporary basis to foster community engagement, embodied learning and cultural production. Both projects were the public development of HOME Gallery (2007-2014), where Shaeffer used her home to exhibit artists and bring people together in an intimate setting around contemporary ideas and concepts in art. 




If you are a small enterprise, freelancer, artist, or community-oriented enterprise (formal or informal) looking for free space to operate—or are just curious about what we are trying to build at Flood's Hall—we would love to hear from you!


Flood's Hall

A Community Resource Center



1515 E. 52nd Pl.

Chicago, IL 60615