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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2000

Illinois FIRST to Fund New Home for Lookingglass Theater Company

CHICAGO -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced a $1.5 million Illinois FIRST grant to in part fund the conversion of the historic Water Tower Pumping Station into a versatile performance space operated by the Lookingglass Theater Company.

"This kind of support of the arts goes a long way to celebrate our diverse culture and to help us express the thoughts and ideas that keep our country alive," said Governor Ryan. "Visitors to this theater will be very pleased to be inside such an incredible landmark."

Efforts to allocate Illinois FIRST funds to the renovation of the Water Tower Pumping Station were spearheaded by House Leader Lee A. Daniels. The $1.5 million in state funds will be matched with a contribution by the City of Chicago. Governor Ryan commended Mayor Richard Daley for his dedication and leadership in implementing programs aimed at the growth and prosperity of the arts in Chicago.

"In the past several years, Mayor Daley has led Chicago in a great promotion of its theater companies and historic theaters throughout the city," Governor Ryan said. "From the redevelopment in the North Loop to projects like this, Chicago is out front as a national leader in the performing arts."

The Water Tower Pumping Station will be converted into a 250-seat main stage and an 80-seat studio. John Morris of Morris Architects, who designed the Steppenwolf, Northlight, and Metropolis theaters, will design the new theater. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $6.5 million.



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