Safehouse Temple Door

Weighing nearly 1500 pounds and standing 10 feet in diameter, the Safehouse Temple Door is a functioning steel bank vault door installed on the façade of Civic Arts Church, a historic building that was recently transformed to amplify the rich African American heritage of its community. The door serves to raise attention to lead contamination in water, soil, and housing with the site serving as one of several activation points for the Chicago Fundred Initiative: A Bill for IL.

STEAM Faculty, Staff, and Students engineered, fabricated and installed the door for Mel Chin and Source Studio and is one of 29 MacArthur Fellow commissioned artworks affiliated with the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art Chicago-based city-wide exhibition that celebrates the 40th anniversary of the fellowship, which begun in 1981 by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Mel Chin was named a MacArthur genius in 2019, and in 2021, he became a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts at UNC Asheville.

Safehouse Temple Door Fabrication and Installation