Building permits have been issued for the temporary casino at Medinah Temple planned by Bally’s Corporation. As part of their winning casino bid, Bally’s will be operating a temporary casino at Medinah Temple until the full-fledged casino is completed at the site of the current Tribune Freedom Center printing plant.
With STL Architects on board for the conversion, the plan will renovate the interior while avoiding any building changes to the landmarked exterior. Originally built in 1912 by architects Huel and Schmid, the building was home to the Chicago Shriners and was designed in a Moorish style with extensive ornament that makes it a unique building amongst its surrounding context.
Protected by landmark designation, the exterior will remain unchanged with the exception of new signs replacing the old signs. The current signage from Bloomingdale’s will be removed and replaced with Bally’s signage that matches the same configuration and scale.
On the interior, Bloomingdale’s conversion in 2003 saw the filling in of the original 4,200-seat auditorium to create larger floor plates for the store. Since the proscenium was also protected by the landmark status, it was retained and painted white. With SOSH Architects working on the interior, the casino plan will see the removal of most of the interior partitions to open up the floors to casino gaming. Any new walls and rooms on the top floor would be built below the original ceiling to keep the coffered ceilings intact.
With permits issued for the construction, general contractor Gilbane Building Company can begin work to finish by Bally’s target of a Summer 2023 opening. Once open, it is planned to run for 24 months until the full casino site is opened to the public.