The John C. Dunham Aurora Arts Center is a thoughtfully planned mixed‐use, mixed‐income development that revitalizes the Aurora community in very real ways.
The Community Builders, a national non-profit real estate developer, partnered with the City of Aurora and Paramount Theatre to create 38 new affordable artist-preference apartments (Artesan Lofts), a school of the arts (Paramount School of the Arts), theater rehearsal spaces (Paramount Theatre rehearsal spaces), and a restaurant (Stolp Island Social House). This 80,000 square foot development is housed in in two National Register historic buildings.
The development provides high quality arts education, expands access and delivery of performing arts, provides quality affordable artist loft residences, and generates significant job opportunities within the revitalizing downtown.
The Aurora Arts Center has received several awards, including; the Landmarks Illinois Driehaus Preservation Award; National Association For County Community & Economic Development; a 2020 Multifamily Executive Award; and was a Chicago Building Congress finalist.