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Utopian Uptown Drawn Up by Architecture Students

By Benjamin Woodard | November 29, 2012 1:53pm | Updated on November 29, 2012 2:16pm
 Students created a dazzling design of a new Uptown building — if only it could be so.
Utopian Uptown
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UPTOWN — A dash of imagination, a sprinkle of wishful thinking and 10 solid weeks of computer design work produced a plan for a rejuvenated Uptown Entertainment District.

Three students at Chicago Studio, an architecture school backed by Virginia Tech, recently showed off the design for a new multipurpose theater in Uptown at a Downtown exhibition.

"We're not there yet," said Ald. James Cappleman (46th), who attended the students' reception with developers and city officials. But Cappleman said there was a lot of excitement brewing around the ward about the proposed Uptown Entertainment District.

Students Daniel Hoogenboom, Jesus Barnuy and Andres Garza designed the building, whi ch would be located at Broadway and Lawrence. It would be across the street from the defunct Uptown Theater and include art galleries, an auditorium and an outdoor plaza.

Hoogenboom mentioned a possible terraced restaurant just to the south, overlooking the tree-lined plaza.

Cappleman said after the Wilson "L" station is renovated, residents can expect to see the resurgence of Uptown as an entertainment destination.

The students' design will also be showcased in Uptown, and possibly Downtown again, said Andrew Balster, Chicago Studio's director.

Just down the street, St. Augustine's College, tucked between West Argyle Street and St. Boniface Cemetery, drafted plans recently for a $3 million renovation of silent film legend Charlie Chaplin's old stomping grounds, Essanay Studios. Funding has not been secured.