LAKEVIEW — Flowering vines and new street furniture are coming to Lincoln Avenue this summer, as the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce rolls out its "placemaking plan" for the street.
Over the next three years, the chamber will organize small-scale projects along Lincoln Avenue between Belmont and Diversey.
The goal is to make the street more pedestrian-friendly with improved crosswalks, public art and outdoor seating, Executive Director Heather Way said.
By the end of June, the chamber will plant ivy and flowering vines next to the Brown Elephant's new home at 3020 N. Lincoln Ave. The plants should screen an adjacent gravel parking lot from public view.
Later this summer into fall, painted curb extensions and new outdoor furniture will debut at Wellington, Lincoln and Southport avenues.
One of the plan's central points is reimagining that busy intersection "as a kind of town square for the corridor," said Lee Crandell, a program director with the chamber.
The painted curb extensions at each of the six street corners will extend pedestrian space, create shorter walks across the street and slow traffic.
Benches, concrete stools and custom wooden planters will be installed in each of the extended corners, creating spaces similar to the area's "people spots."
[Click on the slideshow in the upper right to see renderings.]
The aesthetic will be clean and modern — "maybe not too traditional, but not too out there," Crandell said, adding that Lakeview residents guided the design process through surveys and public meetings.
"It wasn't like a bunch of consultants on the 10th floor of some office building in The Loop came up with these great ideas, and we rolled them out," Way said. "It was actually based on community input."
In 2015, the chamber will add public art and sidewalk stencils near St. Alphonsus Church, 1429 W. Wellington Ave.
Also next year, neighborhood gateways — large installations that could include benches, children's play areas and take-a-book-leave-a-book shelves — will debut at Belmont and Diversey avenues.
"We're still figuring out the design, but we wanted to mark the ends of the corridor," Crandell said.
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