Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Sunday, July 21

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« The Hood Internet Remixes Sleep Out & Lasers and Fast and Shit Review: Refused @ Congress, 7/26 »

News Wed Jul 25 2012

Congress Theater To Undergo Renovation

Congress Theater in Daylight
Photo by Daniel X. O'Neil

Chances are you've been to Logan Square's historic Congress Theater venue, located at 2135 N. Milwaukee Ave., to see shows; whether it was a packed house for one of its frequent DJ acts, or featured an indie rock band, the Congress has been a versatile and popular venue for live music in Chicago. However, if you've been to a show there, you've also likely noticed the condition of the building itself. The Congress Theater's structure has posed issues for its upkeep and maintenance, due to the fact that this historic landmark was built in 1925, boasting older materials that are more difficult to keep in check today.

Just announced, the Congress Theater will be undergoing a renovation beginning this fall, as the venue will be partnering with Doejo, a media development agency that has worked with many unique and popular spaces within Chicago. The project will work on aesthetic development for the Theater by updating the older building materials but still keeping the same Congress Theater historic look and feel. It will also feature partnerships with local businesses within the spaces of the entertainment center featured on Milwaukee Avenue's street level, some of which have been announced as becoming a farmers market-style grocer, cafe Flat White, and a restaurant in the works.

One aim of development for the Congress will be to seek a local business presence by acquiring vendors and small businesses to develop a space within the Theater. Its improvements are linked to a vision for Logan Square; 1st Ward alderman Joe Moreno has expressed his desire to bring new businesses to Milwaukee Avenue, and sees the Congress Theater as a hub for entertainment in the Logan Square neighborhood.

Keeping the Congress Theater independently owned and operated has been of prime importance for owner Eddie Carranza, as Congress frequently features independent artists and hosts unique events such as the Logan Square Indoor Farmers Market.

"I don't want this building to be a cookie-cutter franchise-type building. I want to give it its own character. This isn't a strip mall, this is Logan Square. We want to grow that indie spirit, not break it up with a bunch of franchises," Carranza stated regarding his vision for the renovation.

During the process, the spirit of the Congress Theater will be kept the same, as it becomes updated and evolves from a multipurpose venue to a state-of-the-art community entertainment center. It will be interesting to watch the transition to the venue's updated facility, and, word on the street states that this might not be the only change in the future; the Congress Theater's management may also be looking to acquire property further north of the city, so development plans may continue on in the near future.

GB store

Ryan / July 25, 2012 1:03 PM

Please update the soundsystem!

mp / July 28, 2012 2:40 PM

Please update the staff and security while you're at it.

GB store

Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15