Saturday, January 5, 2013

Coming Soon: Sod Room at 1454 S. Michigan Ave.

Have no fear, Sod Room (formerly called Sprout Playroom) at 1454 S. Michigan Ave. will open soon. The unique playroom on the second floor of the old Buick building has faced some challenges. Opening any new business is a challenge for sure. But when you’re renovating a building that is architecturally and historically significant, that adds a whole new layer of challenges.

The Buick Building, which was completed in 1906, was home to the first Buick dealership in Chicago and part of its famed Motor Row. The Buick shield and logo are clearly visible on the building’s façade. But husband and wife owners Abdón and Cynthia Valenciana promise they’ll “soon” be open. I visited with the couple this week and they’re feverishly working on the finishing touches.

The Slide a Sod Room
To make the Sod Room a safe environment for young children required a lot of special construction, not to mention applying for city permits and passing the required inspections. What is taking shape, is a play space for children ages 0-6. Almost everything in the space is made from repurposed materials, all of which are environmentally friendly. Cynthia expects to host a lot of birthday parties—the space includes a party room—and she’s gotten lots of inquiries and requests for reservations. She also wants the space to be a place for parental workshops and classes, including a prenatal classes for new parents. But the space is a wonderland for kids. A two-level play area with a slide is the room’s major feature and sure to be popular.

To stay on top of their grand opening, follow Sod Room on Twitter and like them on Facebook. We’ll keep you posted here with any new developments.

Leftover hardwood samples make for a fine floor in the party room


  1. I for one, cannot wait until my British friends hear the name of this place. Especially when they realize it's a kid's centre.

    1. We hope your friends across the pond have a good laugh. Sometimes it's hard to believe we share the same language.


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