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spacer.gif   EXCLUSIVE: INSIDE THE HOME FOR POETRY
Posted by : cj on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - 06:46 PM
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Poetry Gossip: Click On Headlines .
.
POETRY DATELINE: MAY 24, 2011

Recently, ChicagoPoetry.com was the recipient of some intriguing speculation regarding the Poetry Foundation's new $25,000,000 "Home for Poetry" being built at 63 W. Superior. A source claimed that the reason the upcoming Printers Ball, sponsored by the Foundation, is scheduled once again at Columbia College instead of in the Foundation's new space, is because they were not sure the new space would be completed by then. I doubted this could be the case, since their grand opening of the space is scheduled for the weekend of June 25, only one month away!

Free Tickets To Poetry Foundation Open House While They Last!

So, as Chicago's leading poetry investigative journalist, I launched a full investigation into the matter, and what I found is quite shocking, a half finished structure in need of electrical wiring, plumping, floors, ceilings and an exterior facade, and all of this would have to be done within 30 days!

The following photos were taken on Monday, May 23, by a source that shall remain anonymous.

You can click on each photo to see a slighlty larger version of it.

There is nothing to see on the south or west walls of the new Home For Poetry. These sides of the building are simply sided over completely with sheet metal.



As of the date of this photo, the east side of the Poetry Foundation's new home is nothing but a skeleton with styrofoam insulation exposed.



Even though there is only a month until the big Open House, ChicagoPoetry.com can only find three people working on the entire north side of the Home For Poetry. But what does the Home For Poetry look like inside? Let's take a look, shall we?



WTF? Inside the Home For Poetry, our investigative team found a raw space with electrical wiring yet to be done, with no ceilings or floors and with unfinished drywall, scattered with litter and debris.



What is most startling is that even though the Home For Poetry is in such a half-finished state, with only 30 days left until the Grand Opening, there is not a single worker to be found inside the construction zone. Tools are thrown about unattended.



This is one of at least three bathrooms in the Home For Poetry. The toilets are covered with blocks of wood, there are no stalls built around them, and the floor is nothing but brown paper.



The Home For Poetry bathrooms are going to be awfully fancy once they are completed. But as of May 23, they have a long way to go.



What promises to be a really cool second floor viewing area of the well lit Home For Poetry today serves as a dumpster for debris left by the invisible workers.



I have laid a lot of drywall in my life and I can tell by these photos that a LOT of work needs to be done to finsih the Home For Poetry. Unless they get a large crew in there pronto to work 24 hours a day, I can't imagine how all of this is going to be completed by June 25.



On the second floor of the Home For Poetry are several tiny offices that at the moment appear to be wrapped for the holidays. Brown paper covers everything as if they are just peeling it away to find the fixtures beneath.



Even amidst the chaos a glimpse of the Home For Poetry to come can be imagined. Here will be a gorgeous, sunlit staircase leading up to the second floor balcony.



A few years ago the Printers Ball got busted by the police, one of the reasons being the narrow stairwells in the art gallery that the party was being held in. I don't think there will be any such problem in the new Home For Poetry.



Throughout the Home For Poetry, blueprints are thrown about as if those who were reading them just disappeared. Perhaps those responsible for building this $25,000,000 poetry venue were caught up by the rapture.



Don't be misled by how small the Home For Poetry looks from the outside. Once you get inside you will realize how huge it is and what a spectacular poetry venue it will be, when it is finished, of course.



It's hard to believe that in one month the ladders and machines and tools will be gone and there will be poetry readings taking place in this space, but I hope they pull it off, because I have a ticket to see Sandra Cisneros on June 26. Woot.



The funding for the Home For Poetry came from Ruth Lilly, who gave the Poetry Foundation hundreds of millions of dollars to do with whatever they want to. I think building a permanent home is a wise investment, and you can't get a better location with so much public transporation nearby.



This has been another exclusive poetry scoop by ChicagoPoetry.com, Chicago's number one source for poetry news.

--story by CJ Laity
--photos by anonymous

UPDATE: PHOTOS TAKEN ONE MONTH LATER!!!

Note: .

The Poetry Foundation's new multi-million dollar Home For Poetry is set to open with an Open House Gala on the weekend of June 25, but will it be completed in time. At the time of this report, the building seems to be only about half finished. Here's the scoop!

 
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