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Tender House Project at the Bridgehouse Museum

Tender House Project works to realize the latent potential of Chicago’s iconic yet overlooked bridgehouses, proposing that this hidden infrastructure is a cultural asset that will breathe needed life into the Chicago River. 

In collaboration with Togetherism, a two-month festival of artists groups curated by Public Media Institute, eight  Chicago-based groups will creatively activate the Michigan Avenue bridgehouse and surrounding riverwalk areas. 

Exhibited work will feature design proposals from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Master of Architecture program and design proposal submitted by the public. The result contributes toward a city-wide strategy of highlighting the Chicago River as a cultural corridor. With 70 bridgehouses spanning 13 miles of the Chicago River and having direct access to 15 neighborhoods, these underutilized buildings will be vital to fostering a connected and culturally celebrated Chicago. 


Ben LaMar Gay
International Anthem
Deep Time Chicago
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago AIADO
Keefer Dunn
Red Line Service
Experimental Sound Studio
Ryan Ingebritsen
Audubon Great Lakes
Chicago Bird Collision Monitors
Chicago Ornithological Society
Chicago Audubon Society
Field Museum of Natural History


Returning to the McCormick Bridgehouse Museum, Tender House Project is led by Mejay Gula, Chicago based civic designer, curator, and lecturer whose work highlights value of forgotten buildings and spaces in the city.

Togetherism examines creative experiments with horizontal, collective art-making and organizing. The series is inspired by (and hopes to inspire) forms of radical, liberating practice where collective creative work rethinks and reforms the ways of living in society. The festival will feature the work of both historical and contemporary groups from Chicago and beyond. Not quite utopian, each group serves variously as a proof of concept, a failure, a new direction to pursue, or an example of why “we” needs to change.

Earlier Event: May 12
Tender House Project