August 3, 2021
Today’s featured project is the Epstein-designed and engineered 400,000-square-foot Marie Sklodowska Curie High School, located at 4959 S Archer Ave in Chicago.
Completed in 1974, this public school was designed for an enrollment of 3,200 students and featured a wide array of spaces, including everything from photography studios to an autobody shop. Other program elements included a college-sized library, lounges, resource centers, science laboratories, multiple lunchrooms and individual music practice areas.
Curie High also featured a two-story performing arts/physical education building, which contained a 1,200-seat auditorium, swimming pool, gym, and meeting rooms with AV equipment. It was the intent of the design, which separated the arts/gym from the educational wing, to allow this building to be utilized by the surrounding residents and serve as a de facto community center.
Curie was named after the Polish-born chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.
Curie High is still in operation today, although it is now known as Curie Metropolitan High School and has a curriculum that emphasizes technology and the arts.