Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building on Michigan Avenue dates back to 1885 as an 8-story skyscraper designed by architect Solon S. Beman. Originally built by the Studebaker company as a wagon and carriage showroom, the building later housed theater, music, and studio spaces for local artists after an 1898 addition and renovation. In the years since, the Fine Arts Building has continued to be home to fine and performing artists, writers, and women’s rights activists, and more recently, events and office space. An official Chicago Landmark, the building still features a live elevator operator.
The Fine Arts Building is currently in the midst of a complete overhaul of their rigging system and Flyhouse was awarded the project, expected to be complete by early 2023.
For the initial phase of the project, we have designed and fabricated all new front of house (FOH) rigging points for their audio visual (AV) systems. Like all historical venues, work at the Fine Arts Building requires a little extra consideration. Flyhouse is coordinating with engineering to add additional supplemental steel and custom built chain hoist stands to accommodate the additional weight and planned loads of the system. We are currently wrapping up this phase work in the ceiling/attic space above the audience seating.
Phase two will continue in the Studebaker Theater space, in conjunction with Schuler Shook Theater Planners (consultant) and theater staff. We will replace all existing rigging (leaving only the fire curtain) and fabricate and install 15 new motorized axes for the stage.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 6 D8+ chain hoists
- 4 Flyhouse variable speed motorized battens designed with a 1,000 lb capacity
- 7 Flyhouse fixed speed motorized batten with capacities ranging from 1,000 – 1,400 lbs.
- 3 Flyhouse fixed speed motorized line shaft battens with capacities up to 1,400 lbs
- 1 Austrian Main Curtain controlled by a variable speed line shaft hoist which will operate from 0-280 feet per minute
- 1 Flyhouse EaseTM Control to allow for jog, user-programmable presets, and cue list functionality