by Bobby Fleet, The Chicago Times

September 14, 2021

CHICAGO — Actor Harry Lennix III, who stars in the TV show “The Blacklist,” will transform the old Marshall Field’s warehouse into a Performing Arts Center for African American culture on the South Side.

The former two-story Marshall Field’s warehouse located at 4343 S. Cottage Grove Ave will be transformed into a 350 seat theater with a smaller performance space of about 100 seats in collaboration with Chicago developer Keith Giles and contractor Michael Wordlaw.  The current plan includes a partnership with the Chicago Public Schools.

The venue will be named The Lillian Marcie Center after Lennix’s mother and his mentor Marcella “Marcie” Gillie.  Lennix stated that he has raised roughly 60% of the funds required for a $20 million project, but hopes that the project will be completed in early 2021 and opened in 2022.

The zoning proposal, which was presented to the City Council on Tuesday, would allow for the conversion to a theater, complete with a lounge and a rooftop deck for events, and a museum.  The investors are requesting a special use permit in order to provide 45 parking spaces on a nearby lot.  

Chicago-based Nia Architects have been commissioned for the project.

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