(Because) desired value outcome is as follows The decision to site the OPC in the Washington Park community at the corner of Martin Luther King Drive and Garfield Boulevard would combine the values of neighborliness and community empowerment, through direct physical engagement with the streets and blocks of the suburb; strong Chicago identity, through an iconic presence on Martin Luther King Drive and the South Side boulevard system; due process in development, through infill on urban land and activation of streets without alienation of public parklands and the loss of valued landscape elements, such as the Washington Park arboretum with its collection of ancient trees; and a high level of accessibility, efficiency and resilience, through integrated transit connections north-south and east-west.
The decision to site the OPC as a largely underground facility in the north-west corner of Washington Park would combine the values of distinctive identity, through unconventional design and provocative but sensitive placement in the park; respect for Chicago’s Olmsted tradition, through making the OPC subservient to landscape while building in the park, a naturalistic element interwoven with curved pathways creating high-use desire lines in and around the constituent parts of the OPC; effectiveness in neighborhood activation, through siting the OPC and associated outreach elements as a series of attractors within a network of community institutions noted for their strong historical associations, their role in contemporary democratic protest, their central contribution to community identity, and in the case of Provident Hospital – founded in 1891, the first African-American owned and operated hospital in the United States – association with President Obama’s noted legacy of Obamacare.
The decision to site the OPC on 63rd Street, Woodlawn would combine the values of transparency and accountability with respect to community uplift, through investment in a long-blighted urban district involving infill of vacant city-owned land; neighborliness and community empowerment, through the re-establishment of store fronts and the activation of streets; distinct identity and innovation, through a landmark tower integrated with urban agriculture in demonstration of the Obamas’ commitment to health and well-being worldwide and as an inspiration to the community gardening movement in the South Side neighborhoods.
The decision to build the OPC as a creative fusion of old and new around the adaptive re-use of a 1920s commercial building on the corner 63rd Street and Cottage Grove Avenue, Woodlawn would combine the values of integrity and civility, through re-making the commercial core of Woodlawn in a way which would build on its traditions; transparency and accountability through investment in a long-blighted urban hub; neighborliness and community empowerment, through the re-establishment of store fronts and the activation of the commercial streets of Woodlawn; and strong Chicago identity, through physical location of the OPC in a restored historic bank building next to the elevated steel structure of the ‘L’.
The decision to build the OPC as the centerpiece of a civic center in the City Beautiful tradition on Stony Island Avenue between the Woodlawn community and Jackson Park Design would combine the values of cohesion in diversity, through the balanced integration of a national institution and community facilities in a framed ensemble; boldness and adaptability, through the tough decision to demolish the YMCA in order to create the avenue frontage site for the OPC, rebuilding the ‘Y’ bigger and better than before across sports fields to the west; neighborliness and community empowerment, through street activation and the dramatic featuring of community assets; innovation and added value, through creative synergies with Hyde Park Academy High School and Mt Carmel High School; and strong Chicago identity, through evocation of the World’s Columbian Exposition monumentality that graced Jackson Park in 1893.
The decision to build the OPC on the Midway Plaisance over the elevated railroad tracks at 59th and 60th Streets would combine the values of boldness and adaptability, through creative remaking of the utilitarian blockage of the axial sweep of the Midway by the elevated railroad tracks; integrity, civility and cohesion, through a facility which would symbolically and practically seek to heal the long and at times bitter division between the Woodlawn community and the University of Chicago; and innovation and distinctive design, through a unique combination of architecture, landscape architecture and engineering which would convert a missed opportunity of the past into a subtle but spectacular commitment to Chicago’s future.
Master of Urban Development
Published on Apr 26, 2016
City Visions: Method & Design Chicago | Berlin | Sydney International Studio workshops from the Masters of Urban Development & Design degree...