David Chase and Kimberly Rachal were married at the historic Church of the Epiphany 23 years ago. Now they’ve turned it into a massive arts Campus for the West Loop.
A new 42,000 square foot arts, entertainment, and events center is set to open this winter in the West Loop. Housed on the campus of the former Church of the Epiphany at 201 S. Ashland, the Epiphany Center for the Arts will become one of the largest cultural destinations in the city.
The architecturally significant property was acquired by Chicago Developer David Chase. He and his wife, Kimberly Rachal, have spent $15 million preserving the historic church and its adjacent buildings while making big additions.
The Epiphany Center will feature three event halls, a café, a collection of outdoor spaces, an expansive exhibit space and a gallery featuring 125 installation points from artists throughout Chicago and across the country. Resident artist studios will be occupied by artists who receive a space to create their own work in exchange for participating in lectures, workshops, and classes.
The Church of the Epiphany was landmarked by the city of Chicago in the mid-1990s and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. During its operation, the church held the funeral of assassinated Chicago Mayor Carter Harrison Sr. in 1893 and a memorial service in 1969 for Black Panther leader Fred Hampton. Chase and Rachal were married at the church on October 5, 1996, and have since lived just steps away.
Each of the three event spaces, Epiphany Hall, The Sanctuary and Chase House has its own unique personality. Epiphany Hall, the most expansive, is located in the former Church. Designed by architectural firm Burling and Whitehouse, its exterior serves as an early example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture, while the interiors are finished in Eastlake Style with Queen Anne details including decorative terra cotta tiles, Venetian glass mosaics designed by Tiffany, and sweeping arched trusses. Chase House, a modern loft-style venue designed for weddings, ‘pop up’ culinary events and receptions, boasts a chef’s showcase kitchen, as well as five massive doors that lead to a stunning outdoor patio and an expansive, artistically landscaped courtyard. The Sanctuary, a quaint, romantic retreat, features a vintage room with vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows, antique chandeliers, and a built-in stage that is complemented by a private Niche Bar and Lounge.
“With this project, we have aimed to provide a transformative, memorable experience like none other in Chicago. Our venue is truly one-of-a-kind, both in structure and programming,” said David Chase. “After three years of entitling, restoring and renovating the property, we are excited to finally see our vision for Epiphany come to life.”
West Loop Entertainment, Epiphany’s in-house presenter, will host a robust calendar of events starting early next year. The eclectic line-up includes Ian Maskin, The Flat Cats, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Typhanie Monique, Pat Malinger, Linda Solotaire, Mike Wheeler, Rick Lindy and many more.
“We are grateful to David Chase and Kimberly Rachal for redeveloping the beloved Church of the Epiphany,” said Roderick Burch, Executive Director of the West Central Association. “This one-of-a-kind space for art activations and events will be a great addition to the West Loop, bringing the area a major cultural attraction and employment opportunities. Our organization looks forward to hosting community events at Epiphany Center for the Arts.”