McGiffert House

Completed: 2012
Architect: Tigerman McCurry Architects
Address: 5751 S. Woodlawn Ave.
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Humble Beginnings
Built in 1959, McGiffert House at 5751 South Woodlawn Avenue is one of very few buildings on the University of Chicago campus built in International Style. With horizontal rows of windows, an attention to 90-degree façade angles, and the lack of stylistic ornamentation that permeates the Main Quad, its original use as a Chicago Theological Seminary dormitory has long since expired and since being purchased in 2008 by the University, has served as office space. 

Bold Repurposing
McGiffert House, renovated by Tigerman McCurry Architects in 2012, is one of Woodlawn Avenue’s primary destinations. Now occupied by the famed Seminary Co-Op Bookstore, the building stands as an intersection of elegant modern lines and the cozy browsing experience that the Co-Op provided its customers for years in the basement of the former Chicago Theological Seminary building. The renovation has doubled the square footage of the former Co-Op and provides space for increased selection, as well as events programming, with its open floor plan. In an era when many independent booksellers are struggling, the new McGiffert House stands as a testament to the University’s robust commitment to scholarship and innovation.