Saieh Hall for Economics


The former Chicago Theological Seminary building located at 5757 South University Avenue was adaptively reused to house instructional and research programs for the Department of Economics and the office, conference, and research facilities for the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics. The 100,770 gross square foot main building was renamed the Saieh Hall for Economics in June 2014. The renovation began in Fall 2012 and encompassed repairs and upgrades to the building envelope, HVAC and electrical and voice/data systems, and bringing the building infrastructure up to all required life/safety and accessibility codes. New space was constructed below grade for mechanical rooms and a large tiered lecture hall. To connect the east and west existing buildings at the ground level, a new building entrance was constructed by vacating the alley exiting to 58th Street. Construction was completed in June 2014. 

The research pavilion, a 48,920 gross square foot addition to the building’s north side, includes a second large lecture hall, seminar rooms, and offices. This addition connects to two adjacent Woodlawn Avenue properties, 5740 and 5750 South Woodlawn Avenue, which also had interior renovations. The project is LEED certified.

Rendering Courtesy of Ann Beha Architects.

Project Team

  • Senior Project Manager: Jose L. Lopez Jr.
  • Assistant Project Manager: Sara Matesevac
  • Architect/Engineer: Ann Beha Architects
  • Construction Manager: Turner Construction
  • Project Contact: Jose Lopez


Past Milestones:

  • March 2010: Ann Beha Architects selected as project architect
  • September 2010: Tigerman/McCurry Architects selected to design renovation for Seminary Co-Op Bookstore
  • Fall 2012: Construction began
  • May 2014: Began installation of curtain wall and building enclosure for the research pavilion.
  • June 2014: Completed 58th Street Streetscape and 5757 S. University main building.
  • June 2014: Begin interior fit-out of research pavilion.
  • March 2015: Completion of research pavilion.


ADA ramp near completion, March 2015.

58th street

View looking down 58th Street.


Saieh Hall overview, daytime.


Saieh Hall overview, dusk.

entry day

Main entrance, daytime.

entry dusk

Main entrance, dusk.


Southwest entrance.


Staircase at west entry.

entry interior

Interior entry.


New stairwell.


Tiered classroom, concourse level.


Tiered classroom, concourse level.


Tiered classroom, former library.


Graduate students loft area.


Graduate Commons lighting fixtures, former chapel.

conference room

Conference room.


Colonnade at dusk.


Colonnade, daytime.



Graduate commons

Graduate Commons, former Taylor Chapel.

former chapel

Main building conference room, former Hilton Chapel.

Main building construction

Main building north elevation.

5757 contemporary lighting

Main building, graduate student commons.

5757 classroom

Main building, second floor tiered classroom.

5757 third floor

Work ongoing at the Research Pavilion, third floor deck.

basement stair

Stair construction.

Concrete walls

Foundation work for new research pavilion.

Foundation excavation

Foundation work for new research pavilion.

Metal beams

Construction of new research pavilion addition.

Rear building

Rear of main building, site of future research pavilion.

Slate roof and copper flashing

Slate tile roof with copper flashing.


5757 S. University's prominent tower (June 2013).

Construction site with cranes

View of construction site along 58th Street (June 2013).

Overhead view of construction site

View of construction site with top of new underground classroom in the foreground (June 2013).

Top of concrete lid for classroom

Concrete top of the underground classroom (June 2013).

Cut out of roof

Building cut-out and bracing to make room for elevator shaft and stairwell (June 2013).


Former chapel, future faculty conference room/meeting space (June 2013).

Detail of chapel

Detail of rear wall of the new faculty area (June 2013).


New office corridor (June 2013).

Gothic ceiling

Detail of a recently cleaned ceiling.


Former library, future tiered classroom (June 2013).

Wooden stairs

Temporary staircase in future classroom (June 2013).

Construction of east ComEd vault.

Construction of east ComEd vault (May 2013).

Scaffolding on northeast section.

Scaffolding on northeast section (May 2013).

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