Stony Island Savings & Loan, built in the 1920s, had stood abandoned on Chicago's South Side for decades. It was in serious disrepair, too, with the interior exposed to the elements. It seemed to most that the only thing to do was demolish it and start over.
It had largely fallen into disrepair, and seemed hopeless.
But artist, urban planner, professor, and Rebuild Foundation founder Theaster Gates had another idea. He saw potential in the old building when no one else did. And we mean that quite literally -- no one else thought the 20,000 square foot building would amount to anything. In fact, the city of Chicago was so convinced it was worthless that they sold it to Gates for a dollar. One dollar.