The structure of the new Welcome Center at the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois, has begun rising out of the ground since construction began in July.
Rapid excavation of the site along the southwestern edge of the House of Worship gardens was completed within two weeks. More than 350 large truckloads of dirt were removed to make way for the large basement spaces that will accommodate offices, displays, meeting facilities, and a bookstore with reading rooms.
Construction began immediately on structural concrete basement walls. The entire lower level should be enclosed by the end of November, according to the Properties Office at the Baha’i National Center.
At the same time, plans have been completed for a new parking area that will include large landscaped areas for guests to pause, meet, and experience outdoor displays that highlight the unique architecture and symbology of the House of Worship and gardens.
The parking lot design will accommodate guests with disabilities by providing new accessible parking and drop-off spaces, as well as unencumbered access to the House of Worship. The most significant addition will be a landscaped walkway providing stair-free access to the gardens for all guests.