CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's world famous Steppenwolf Theatre broke ground on an expansion Tuesday.
The plan for a new building on the Halsted campus has been in the works for two decades.
"This is a monumental moment for us that is more than two decades in the making-built on the shoulders of the former leaders, the ensemble, the board, and the staff who have touched this project and together have made this vision a reality. The heart of Steppenwolf is that while the work may soar, our foundation is decidedly human scale, an ongoing celebration of discovering the extraordinary in the every day. The promise of this is what has kept people invested in this company for so long and what inspires our next steps," said artistic director Anna D. Shapiro.
The new 50,000 square-foot, $54 million building is set to open in the summer of 2021. The building will feature a 400 seat In-The-Round Theatre, a dedicated education floor, a two-story atrium, and a wine bar and sidewalk lounge.
"This next step, Steppenwolf's new theater building, is the embodiment of everything Steppenwolf has been but more to the point, is about everything Steppenwolf is going to be," Shapiro said.
The new building will be located at 1646 N. Halsted between the existing parking garage and the main theater building. The parking garage will remain, but will undergo some cosmetic changes.
Steppenwolf was founded 45 years ago in Highland Park, and relocated to its Lincoln Park address in 1991. Stars like Gary Sinese, Laurie Metcalf and John Malkovich cut their teeth on the North Side stage.
Tuesday's announcement brought back some of its famous alumni, like Chicago PD star, Amy Morton.
"It's a way for us to really get back to the roots of what we used to do a million years ago with the audience right here in your face."
Steppenwolf Theatre breaks ground on new $54M building