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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

Future Of South Shore Architecture Studio Uncertain As Plan To Buy 79th Street Animal Hospital Falls Through

TnS Studio design principal Taylor Staten said she'd still prefer to open the studio's headquarters in South Shore, but she may explore sites in Avalon Park or Bronzeville.

The former South Shore Animal Clinic, 2320 E. 79th St., pictured in July 2020.
Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
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SOUTH SHORE — A Black-woman-led architecture firm will no longer open its headquarters at a vacant former animal hospital in South Shore, though the firm is working to find a new South Side location.

TnS Studio announced last summer its intentions to open a home base in South Shore after being awarded a $90,000 grant from the city’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund. The city’s grant was expected to fund most of a $150,000 project to buy and renovate the former South Shore Animal Clinic, 2320 E. 79th St.

But the studio and the property owner “couldn’t agree on the terms of the purchase,” design principal Taylor Staten said. “I had to walk away from that and have been searching aggressively ever since” for a new location.

“South Shore is my preference, but right now I’m open to South Shore and Avalon Park, even in Bronzeville,” Staten said.

The city encourages Neighborhood Opportunity Fund awardees to complete their projects within 18-24 months of receiving the grant. TnS was announced as an awardee last June.

With the project on hold, the studio’s architecture camp for sixth to 12th graders — initially planned to debut this summer — has been pushed back to summer 2022.

In lieu of the camp, the studio will hold in-person pop-up sessions for high school students taking architecture or design classes, as well as for 2021 high school graduates and current college students enrolled in an architecture or design program.

“We want to create a sense of community around these students who are from the same city and who are going to do the same thing,” Staten said. “We’ll hold meetups across the city over the summer for a very targeted group of students.”

Students meeting the criteria may email info@tnstudio.org with the subject “2021 Mentorship” for more information.

TnS Studio, headed by Staten and college friend Courtney Harris, specializes in interior space planning and graphic design. Past design projects include the layout for Roots and Vine Produce in Morgan Park and residential renovations for homeowners and investors.

Earlier this month, TnS Studio was announced as the designer of the Englewood Connect project, which marks the second phase of the Englewood Square development at 63rd and Halsted streets.

Englewood Connect, which received funding through the city’s Invest South/West program, is slated to cost $10.3 million and create 45 full-time jobs.

The company is also on the design team for the Auburn Gresham urban farming campus at 650 W. 83rd St., which was a part of the winning submission for last year’s $10 million Chicago Prize, Staten said.

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