SOUTH CHICAGO — South Chicago business leaders are seeking your ideas on how to beautify and activate a barren, unused spot underneath the Chicago Skyway near Commercial Avenue.
A meeting seeking ideas for the Underline Gateway Project will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Sacred Heart School, 2926 E. 96th St. The meeting is being co-hosted by UrbanLab, a Bridgeport-based architectural firm, and UIC Great Cities Institute.
As part of South Chicago's Commercial Avenue Revitalization Plan, the South Chicago Chamber of Commerce partnered with UrbanLab for its South Chicago Underline Project competition earlier this year.
More than 50 undergraduate and graduate students at the UIC School of Architecture participated in the 10-day competition, which called for teams to design a park for the space on Commercial Avenue.
The winning team's design included public art, a garden, and community and play areas to attract residents and reflect the community's identity. Other teams used LED lighting and a sculpture fountain. Those ideas could help generate ideas on what to do with the area.
"The goal of the competition was to create some buzz not only in the community but with potential investors in the park," said Jack Rocha, research specialist at Great Cities Institute.
Rocha said the competition and upcoming meeting will hopefully help change the community's perception of the lot and give residents a say in the space's future development.
There is currently no set deadline for the project, but Rocha says it has the support of Ald. Sue Garza's office and the owners of the Skyway.
The South Chicago Chamber of Commerce is seeking input from community members on how to use the area under the Chicago Skyway. [Great Cities Institute]