Harper Theater and Herald Building Rehabilitation

Chicago, IL

The Harper Theater complex is a critical component for the success of the 53rd Street redevelopment led by the real estate department of the University of Chicago in Hyde Park. As the Masonry Restoration Consultant to OKW Architects for the adaptive reuse of the Historic Harper Theater and its adjacent Herald Building, AltusWorks provided a detailed masonry assessment and restoration plan. The 1912 brick and terra cotta theater and commercial building, designed by architect HR Wilson, are listed as contributing structures in the Hyde Park-Kenwood Historic District and are Orange Rated in the City of Chicago’s Historic Resources Survey. AltusWorks determined masonry deficiencies, reviewed the condition of the interior terra cotta elements to identify contributing features and advised on historic material restoration systems and techniques.

The rehabilitated complex houses a multiplex movie theater, restaurants and offices.


  • Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award, Rehabilitation, 2013
  • Urban Land Institute Vision Award for Mixed Use, 2014
  • Hyde Park Historical Society Marian and Leon Despres Preservation Award, 2014


Harper Theatre, before restoration.

Harper Theater complex, before restoration.

Harper Theater and Herald Building rehabilitated.

Harper Theater and Herald Building rehabilitated.

Harper Theater and Herald Building, after rehabilitation.