An Independent Civic Space
1515 E. 52nd Pl., Chicago IL 60615
For now, we’re open only for events and by appointment.
For now, we’re open only for events and by appointment.
What do you want to exist in your neighborhood resource center?
What types of groups, workshops and programming could you help bring to our space?
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
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:
Senior social center
Sunday morning cartoons &
Parent advocacy programming
Computer literacy classes
Queer safe/brave spaces
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.
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.
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.
We are updating our space with the help of Civic Projects, an architectural firm based just eight blocks south of us, in the Experimental Station. Their approach is hybrid and participatory, working collaboratively with community groups to develop solutions that invigorate the neighborhoods and cities they serve.
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.
"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.
We are currently seeking donations for our Library.
Flood's Hall eagerly accepts any book that you want to give a new home, but especially books that mean something to you. We want to create a library for all age groups that sparks curiosity, delight, and action.
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!
A Community Resource Center
1515 E. 52nd Pl.
Chicago, IL 60615