Skip to main content
Start of main content

Old Town School of Folk Music

An urban institution dedicated to American folk music and dance

  • LEED

    Certified Gold

  • 28K

    Square Feet

  • Chicago, Illinois

    Chicago, Illinois

Celebrating cultural expression in the heart of Lincoln Square neighborhood

Founded in 1957, the Old Town School of Folk Music is a beloved institution that celebrates cultural expressions rooted in the traditions of the United States and countries around the world. A significant growth in interest over the last ten years prompted the need for additional space—they looked to us for help.

The new building provides classrooms, studios, and performance space for folk music, dance, theater, and visual arts. The glassy welcoming lobby, known as “the Front Porch”, features a steel and terrazzo staircase that supports impromptu performances, with glass guardrail panels featuring portraits of folk music legends drawn by artist R. Crumb. The back wall of the entrance lobby is an acoustically-engineered surface with windows that admit light, but not sound. Modeled on an acoustic device called a Schroeder Diffuser, the wall provides optimum acoustics for adjacent spaces.

Interior corridors that provide niches for conversing and jamming lead to acoustically-isolated classrooms, dance studios, and a 150 seat multi-use performance space with telescoping bleachers and built-in sound control facilities. The new building provides facilities to support the inclusive, creative, and inspiring culture that the institution serves.

At a Glance

Brick in Architecture Gold Award in Education, 2015
Meet Our Team

William Ketcham, Principal

I approach the opportunity to craft beautiful design concepts by integrating modern building technologies with end-user comfort

William Ketcham


We're better together

  • Become a client

    Partner with us today to change how tomorrow looks. You’re exactly what’s needed to help us make it happen in your community.

    Contact Us
  • Design your career

    Work with passionate people who are experts in their field. Our teams love what they do and are driven by how their work makes an impact on the communities they serve.

    Join the Team
End of main content
To top