The Ravenswood Billboard Factory in Chicago, which now serves as a home for one of the nation’s premier collections of vintage sports cars, provided a colorful venue for a secret concert by multiplatinum country singer Dierks Bentley on a cool April night. Built in 1920, the former paper warehouse and billboard photography studio’s high vaulted ceilings gave plenty of room for the rousing sound of Bentley’s free ’n easy brand of country.
The former paper warehouse and billboard photography studio’s high vaulted ceilings gave plenty of room for the rousing sound of Bentley’s free ’n easy brand of country.
Country music star Dierks Bentley grew up in Phoenix and moved to Nashville at the age of 19 to attend Vanderbilt University. He broke onto the scene in 2003 with his platinum self-titled debut. In 2005 Bentley won the CMA “Best New Artist” Award and was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, its third-youngest member. After selling almost five million copies of his previous four studio efforts, Bentley released Feel That Fire in February 2009. The album debuted at No. 3 on The Billboard 200 and produced two consecutive No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Country Singles Chart, bringing the artist’s career tally to seven No. 1 hits. His subsequent albums, Home and Riser each produced three Number One songs on the US Country Airplay charts. In December 2015, Dierks’ collaboration with Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum and Eric Paslay, “The Driver,” was nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance at the upcoming Grammy Awards. He continues to write music, and was the 2018 recipient of the Merle Haggard Spirit Award, given by the Academy of Country Music.
This building was originally built in stages from 1910 – 1930 for the Manz Corporation, an engraving and commercial printing company. Due to the decline in manufacturing in Chicago during the 60’s, the Manz Corporation abandoned the building, and the following inattention caused it to fall into poor conditions. Several parts of the building were sold off, eventually resulting in the renovated Ravenswood Showroom. The building is now home to the Hayes collection of vintage neon signs and one of the world’s most exclusive collections of vintage European & American sports cars. Lofted skylights and exposed beams tastefully retain the industrial atmosphere of this renovated event space, which is now used for everything from weddings to conferences. Photography courtesy of Erika Goldring for Artists Den Entertainment