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The Night Ministry

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An oasis for security, independence, and safety for young adults facing adversity.

The Night Ministry’s new headquarters is located in the “Mural Building” – a prominent manufacturing building known for its large murals that cover the North, East, and South elevations along a busy Chicago expressway. Three floors of the 1910 heavy-timber building are renovated to include: “The Crib” – an overnight shelter for young adults ages 18-24, a serving kitchen and dining space, administrative offices, meeting rooms, and multi-purpose programming space for social services, job assistance, and social activities.

All aspects of the project are designed for refuge and recovery. A new private entrance for The Crib reinforces feelings of security, inclusion, and safety. Located on the North side of the building, a former loading dock with a large awning above is transformed into an accessible entrance, sheltered, and protected from the street. Here and throughout, glass doors and windows are used as critical elements to build trust, allowing guests to glimpse inside before entering, and further alleviating those feelings of stress and helplessness endemic to their situations.

Inside The Crib, which operates on the first floor, corridor space is reduced to increase openness, visibility, and monitoring, thus promoting feelings of emotional and physical safety. Meeting rooms and private offices face the street and park, filtering natural light through interior clerestory windows into the central multipurpose/dining room. Quieter spaces, such as the sleeping room, showers, and restrooms, are positioned near the back to maximize privacy. A small glass-enclosed workspace is designed for a staff member to easily monitor both the sleeping hall and dining area in a non-intrusive way.

The second and third floors are the new administrative headquarters for The Night Ministry where employees work together in open offices connected by a new central, communicating stair. For the first time since its founding, all Night Ministry employees and volunteers can operate and meet under one roof, significantly improving organizational culture, connections, and the quality of their services. Off-site groupings such as the health outreach and street-medicine teams now have space to touch-down and connect with other staff. Support spaces are designed to provide varying levels of privacy and gathering, including individual phone booths, small meeting rooms, workrooms and a large conference room that can hold all-staff and full board meetings.

Throughout the organization’s interior spaces, painted murals complement the building’s exterior signage. These feature walls, commissioned by local Chicago art students, will eventually fill each floor with richness and color, conveying The Night Ministry’s core values of refuge, safety, and healing.

To learn more about The Night Ministry’s mission visit their website here.

General Contractor: Bulley & Andrews
Structural Engineer: GRAEF
M/P Engineer: Martin Peterson Company, Inc.
Electrical Engineer: Nesko Electric Company
Landscape Architect: McKay Landscape Architects
Owner’s Rep: IFF
Photography: Kendall McCaugherty, Hall + Merrick Photographers