"This is clearly an oasis of calm within a bustling metropolis, and its architecture is fitting for Glenview." -Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, at the inauguration of the Ismaili Jamatkhana, Glenview, December 2, 2008.
This 26,000 square feet Jamatkhana, located on 10.5 acres in the Chicago suburb of Glenview, was designated as a Golden Jubilee project. It was opened by the First Lady of Illinois and Dr. Mahmoud Eboo, President of the Aga Khan Council of the United States of America, with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, and Kerry Cummings, President of the Village of Glenview, in attendance.
During his visit to Illinois in 2008 at the invitation of the Governor, Mawlana Hazar Imam met with the Governor and the Mayor of Chicago, and remarked that he hoped that this Jamatkhana would be viewed as a place of “outward friendship."
The design of the building reflects in its space and usage three elements: the Prayer Hall for worship and contemplation, the Social Hall for engagement with others and the gardens to appreciate and enjoy God's creation, and to welcome neighbors.
There are ten classrooms in the education wing, and the administrative offices of the Aga Khan Council for the Midwestern United States are located in this facility.
The entrance to the building has a raised frame, known as a Buland Darwaza, or Highest Gate, an architectural form prevalent in Mughal India. And in honor of our 49th Imam, a heptagon, or seven-sided form, is used as in many of the details and accents throughout the building. The Prayer Hall's ceiling, for example, consists of seven layers of heptagons, each embellished with seven triangular wood pieces, for a total of 49 such decorative elements.
The Jamatkhana is used frequently to host educational and cultural programs for the public, and tours are offered to visitors.