In 2007, Byron Brazier, Jr. moved into a vacant Pekin Cleaners plant at 48th and State Street and began to think about bringing back blues, jazz, gospel and other Bronzeville art and cultural history. Byron wanted to create something that would embody the integral role that music and the arts have always played in the fabric of Bronzeville. Since then, Byron established Heir Gallery, Inc., as the not for profit vehicle that would move Byron’s vision to reality.
HEIR Gallery has been working with the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and the master developer of the vacant Robert Taylor Homes footprint, Michaels/Brinshore (M/B); the State of Illinois (State); Alderman Pat Dowell; Senator Mattie Hunter; Representative Kenneth Duncan. HEIR Gallery’s goal was to complete a redevelopment concept plan for a portion of the Robert Taylor Homes vacant land. Many meetings have occurred over several years with the officials and agencies mentioned above to garner support for HEIR Gallery to assemble a development team and identify financial support for the concept plan.
The HEIR Gallery, proposed a catalytic project in a vacant Boys and Girls Club building currently surrounded by land formerly dedicated to public housing in Chicago’s Washington Park neighborhood. This location and building would have served as a vestige of change, growth and progress within Chicago’s urban core. HEIR Gallery proposed to transform the current site into a visionary LEED certified community facility dedicated to empowering inner-city youth with creative and marketable skills in the art-technology and film industries. Unfortunately, with the difficulty to obtain site control from the CHA, HEIR Gallery agreed to the demolition of the vacant Boys and Girls Club building.
In early 2013 HEIR Gallery proposed to the Department of Tourism, the State of Illinois (State) that HEIR Gallery would provide $ 360,000 in predevelopment funding to create an international tourist destination in the Bronzeville community. The State executed an agreement with Goodcity, Inc. (Goodcity) as a fiscal intermediary for HEIR Gallery to provide oversight to this ambitious tourism development concept.