• Gary Comer Youth Center exterior view from S. South Chicago Ave.
  • Gary Comer Youth Center at night

You can feel a sense of possibility here that you can’t on real ground.”
—Blair Kamin, Chicago Tribune”


The award-winning Gary Comer Youth Center was designed by John Ronan Architect to specifically support the activities of The South Shore Drill Team and programs for children of the neighboring Paul Revere School. Educational and recreational spaces wrap the Drill Team’s main practice and performance area, with major spaces exposed on the building exterior to promote the activity inside to the community, and invite participation.

The idea was to feed off the energy of the Drill Team and let that permeate the building.”
—John Ronan


John Ronan Architect received the 2007 First Place The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design for the Gary Comer Youth Center.

The Comer Science and Education Foundation received the 2006 Patron of the Year Award from the Chicago Architecture Foundation for the Gary Comer Youth Center.

Mayor Daley’s Landscape Award 2006, 1st Place Green Roof Division

Mayor Daley’s GreenWorks Awards 2006

The Chicago Building Congress presented The Gary Comer Youth Center with the 2007 Merit Award for New Construction.

The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and Metropolitan Arts Press Ltd. selected The Gary Comer Youth Center as one of thirty-five distinguished buildings in the 2007 American Architecture Awards competition.

Gary Comer Youth Center gymnasium

Gary Comer Youth Center auditorium