Old Town School of Folk Music

Goldray Glass as Manufacturers

December of 1957 saw the grand opening of the Old Town School of Folk Music at its first home on 333 North Avenue, in Chicago. The first five years of the School's history mirrored the boom in folk music at that time. Enrollment grew and programs expanded. Over 150 students attended guitar and banjo classes on a weekly basis. Folk dancing, and family sing-alongs rounded out the programming.

The late 70s marked a decline in enrollment, concert attendance, and the beginning of a severe financial crisis that left the School on the brink of bankruptcy. In 1982, the School's staff and Board expanded the scope of programming to include ethnic and traditional music from around the world. This lead to a successful rebound from tragedy, allowing for the expansion opportunities that followed in the 1990's.

Each decorative laminated glass panel portrays the likeness of one of the many prominent and influential musicians to pass through the school over the last five decades and works to tell the story of the building.

The City of Chicago approached the Old Town School of Folk Music and other cultural institutions about the former Hild Library, an art deco building that had stood vacant for twelve years. The 43,000 square foot building was situated on North Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Square, one of Chicago's most culturally diverse neighborhoods. Chosen by the city as the preferred recipient, the School began planning and soliciting support to expand operations to the new facility in late 1994.

A focal piece in the new facility design was the unique glass staircase, which features over 40 custom-designed decorative laminated glass panels. Each piece portrays the likeness of one of the many prominent and influential musicians to pass through the school over the last five decades and works to tell the story of the building. The glass staircase railing was created using Goldray's Technographic Interlayer process to print the images directly onto a film interlayer before laminating it between two lites of glass.

"The Old Town School of Folk Music presents an urbane façade behind which are spaces that celebrate dance, music and movement. The building opens to embrace the diversity of its larger world and exudes the belief that music and delight are birth rights through sounds, light and detail." As quoted by William Ketchum of VOA Design, the project lead who conceptualized the perfect environment for the students' inspiration and creativity.

Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
Hidalgo Mira Arquitectura restore the historic Godelleta tower in Valencia, Spain
30 Nov 2022 News
Hidalgo Mira Arquitectura restore the historic Godelleta tower in Valencia, Spain

Estimated to be built between the period of 11th and 13th centuries, the Godelleta tower is a Buildi... More

Stilt Studios unveil prefab treehouse hospitality units overlooking the lush rice fields of Bali
30 Nov 2022 News
Stilt Studios unveil prefab treehouse hospitality units overlooking the lush rice fields of Bali

Set amidst the coastal village of Canggu, Treehouse Studios is Stilt studios' newest hospitality add... More

Sterck’s new showroom revives the glory of the industrial heritage of Aalst, Belgium
30 Nov 2022 News
Sterck’s new showroom revives the glory of the industrial heritage of Aalst, Belgium

Formerly a weaving mill repurposed into a Tupperware plastic factory and recently transformed into a... More

Casa TO by Ludwig Godefroy is an experiential retreat on Mexico's Pacific coast
30 Nov 2022 News
Casa TO by Ludwig Godefroy is an experiential retreat on Mexico's Pacific coast

Nestled amidst a land of golden sunsets, with unparalleled vistas of the sea, sand and cliffs, in La... More

Spaces & Design conceptualize stairs as a sculptural, interconnecting element in this Kolkata House
30 Nov 2022 News
Spaces & Design conceptualize stairs as a sculptural, interconnecting element in this Kolkata House

A split-level structure, in Kolkata, with a distinguishable floor plate and a unique spatial configu... More

Liknon by K-studio on the Greek island of Samos dissolves the traditional idea of a museum
30 Nov 2022 News
Liknon by K-studio on the Greek island of Samos dissolves the traditional idea of a museum

On the Greek island of Samos, Liknon by K-studio is an unconventional museum project celebrating Met... More

Noodle Story by Yatofu Creatives offers a 'curio cabinet' of new and nostalgic experiences
30 Nov 2022 News
Noodle Story by Yatofu Creatives offers a 'curio cabinet' of new and nostalgic experiences

Marking their third collaboration with designers Yatofu Creatives, Noodle Story is now bringing thei... More

10 distinct timber-clad houses that are rustic yet modern
29 Nov 2022 Specification
10 distinct timber-clad houses that are rustic yet modern

Wood, in all its forms, is unquestionably among the most versatile materials available out there. Hu... More