Kehrein Center for Arts

Chicago, Illinois (Austin)

Eckenhoff Saunders partnered with the Catalyst Schools to redesign and bring this 22,000 sf, 950-seat auditorium back to life in Chicago’s Austin community. Designed by Belli and Belli Architects circa 1956, the building sat vacant since the mid-1970s.

Through the efforts of the Catalyst Circle Rock School community, this irreplaceable space was renovated in May 2019. The renovation includes all new finishes, seating, theatrical lighting, AV systems, architectural acoustic enhancements, and MEP/FP systems. The venue serves as a school auditorium, church sanctuary, and music performance space for multiple users.

Most importantly, it serves as a beacon in the Austin community for arts and culture, providing a much-needed opportunity for families and residents to participate in performance activities of all kinds.


Client/Owner: Catalyst Schools

General Contractor: Wight & Company

Photographer: Mariusz Mizera Photography

Lighting Design: Gwen Grossman Lighting Design

Structural Engineer: Sound Structures, Inc.

MEP Engineer: McGuire Engineers

Acoustics: Threshold Acoustics