Eric Driscoll and Stephanie Collins, center, browse shelves as Jose Cruz, left, finds a quiet place to read a book at the Seminary Co-Op Bookstore in Hyde Park on Tuesday, October 20, 2009. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune) (January 21, 2011)
Incorporated in 1961, the famous Hyde Park landmark in the basement of the Chicago Theological Society will relocate onto the first floor of a University of Chicago property within the next year.
The bookstore houses more than 141,000 titles covering a broad range of academic texts.
Chronic heating, cooling and drainage problems should no longer be an issue in the new, 9,000-square-foot space next to the Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House, which will include an innovation unseen in the old space: windows.
A map guides guests through the current locale's nooks and warrens. Yet the Co-op's subterranean and crowded nature is part of its charm and mystique. "One of the challenges (for the design team) is trying to replicate the feeling of being surrounded by books and turning corners and seeing things you weren't expecting to see," said General Manager Jack Cella, who has worked at the bookstore for 40 years.
Visit: The Seminary Co-op, 5757 S. University Ave., 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday or go to semcoop.com.