Saieh Hall for Economics

Department of Economics and Becker Friedman Institute

Completed: 1928
Architect: Riddle & Riddle; Ann Beha Architects
Renovated: 2014
Architect: Ann Beha Architects
Address: 5757 S. University Ave.
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Formerly the Chicago Theological Seminary, which housed Seminary Co-op Bookstore and, the building at 5757 S. University Ave. has entered an extensive remodeling phase led by Ann Beha Architects. Working to find “the balance between stewardship and intervention,” Beha, a specialist in repurposing ecclesiastical sites, incorporated the original neo-Gothic architectural details into a 21st century space for the Department of Economics and the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics. The adapted site features a Gothic entryway, gardens, and outdoor seating, as well as creative use of light and glass. The property now includes four buildings: the original 1928 Chicago Theological Seminary building, two landmark row houses that for the last several decades were the nursery school for the Laboratory Schools, and a new piece of contemporary architecture to connect the buildings, integrating new and old.  

Originally built between 1923 and 1927, the University purchased the property in 2008 and launched an adaptive reuse project designed by the Boston-based Ann Beha Architects, a recognized leader in the adaptive reuse of historical buildings. The renovation and expansion have preserved as much of the character of the building as possible while making it accessible and useful for current academic purposes. 

The Gothic-influenced building now stands at the heart of the UChicago campus, blending historic architecture with a fully updated facility, accommodating modern study areas, conference rooms, lecture halls and offices. 

The Saieh Hall for Economics comprises 150,000 square feet of classrooms, seminar and conference rooms, and collaborative workspaces. It accommodates the instructional and research needs of the Department of Economics, and facilities for the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics, including offices and conference space.