Jesse White Community Center + Field House

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

The 30,000-square-foot Jesse White Community Center and Field House serves as the headquarters for the Chicago Park District’s gymnastics program and the renowned Jesse White Tumbling Team. The center also provides community fitness and assembly rooms. 

The facility is composed of shifting boxes with a high degree of transparency to enhance the connection to the community and establish a street presence. It was critical that the building exhibit a welcoming appearance from the street. The intent was to provide a dynamic space that flows between the interior and exterior and enables the outside observer to watch the gymnastics programs taking place within. 

The major architectural volumes, expressed in a warm copper tone and acrobatic shape, house a gymnasium and gymnastics facility. The minor volumes, featured in a portal-type gesture with playfully colored glazing, host a fitness space, meeting rooms and computer labs. Administrative offices and a reception lobby welcome the public through their transparent façade and southern-exposed entry plaza. The upper floor hosts offices, conference rooms and a balcony overlooking the gymnastics facility.

This facility is a vibrant community-centered space that promotes connectivity among neighbors, enriches the character of its evolving neighborhood and invigorates the walking environment along Chicago Avenue. 

Architect of Record

Ghafari Associates


Chicago Park District

General Contractor

McHugh Construction


  • Wolff Landscape Architecture