Medinah Temple to be Updated for Temporary Casino Use

“Medinah Temple’s three-story interior will need renovations as it becomes home to a temporary casino for Chicago, officials said Tuesday.

“The city held its first community engagement session, asking neighbors for their feedback on and questions about the temporary Bally’s Casino set to open in the Medinah Temple, 600 N. Wabash Ave., in River North.

“The temporary casino will be used until Bally’s permanent casino and resort at the Tribune Publishing site in River West can open. The temporary casino will bring in $55 million in tax dollars, city officials have said.

“Bally’s hopes to open the Medinah Temple temporary facility by June, with company officials saying the temporary site will be used for two to three years.

“The temporary casino was supposed to be at 700 W. Chicago Ave. — a former Tribune advertising insertion plant — but its location was changed to Medinah Temple after concerns were raised about traffic in and out of the Chicago Avenue location during construction of the permanent site. But the temple will need renovations to fit the casino, officials said Tuesday.

“Bally’s has teamed up with local architectural firm STL Architects to renovate Medinah Temple for casino use, officials said.

“The exterior of the building is protected by landmark status, so the only changes there will include swapping out the building’s Bloomingdale’s signs and flags for those of Bally’s.” (Mercado, Block Club Chicago, 7/20/22)

Preservation Chicago strongly advocated that if and only if a Casino was coming to Chicago, that the only appropriate location for it was at Lakeside Center at McCormick Place. In a January 2022 Chicago Tribune Op-Ed, we wrote, “if a casino is coming to Chicago, Preservation Chicago strongly supports the adaptive reuse of Lakeside Center for it. The plan offers a once-in-a-generation chance to create a dynamic south lakefront entertainment and cultural district — and a way to embrace our past and strengthen our future.”

Read the full story at Block Club Chicago

Casino At Medinah Temple Could Look Like; Medinah Temple, a landmark, won’t see changes to its exterior if it hosts the temporary casino — but its three-story interior will be renovated, officials said, Melody Mercado, Block Club Chicago, 7/20/22

Preview Of Bally’s Temporary Casino In River North, Bee Ricketts, Chicago Yimby, 8/3/22

Op-ed: Turning McCormick Place’s Lakeside Center into a casino would be a win for Chicago, Ward Miller, Chicago Tribune, 1/3/22

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