East 75th Street & South Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60619
Streetscapes, Urban Design
All Reimagining Chicago, Greater Chatham Initiative, Chicago Department of Planning and Development, Chicago Department of Transportation, City of Chicago, 6th Ward Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer
Brook Architecture, Vladimir Radutny Architects, Booth Hansen, Krueck + Sexton, Brown & Momen, Incorporated, Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture
Bank of America, Jewel Osco, Seaway, Ace Foundation, Providence Bank & Trust, The Chicago Community Trust, Benjamin Moore, The Home Depot, Lowes
Located in the heart of Chatham on 75th Street between Calumet and Indiana Avenues, the Boardwalk activates the public right-of-way by replacing on-street parking spaces with safe outdoor dining and gathering opportunities for the Black-owned businesses and their patrons. The Boardwalk was designed as a series of modules that create outdoor rooms, organized to fit the individual needs of the adjacent businesses. Each module has its own program that ranges from seating, dining, fitness, and lawn games.
The Boardwalk is built of repurposed plywood that was used to board up local businesses earlier in 2020. The project connected Black contractors with Black youth in the community to empower them by teaching them carpentry and construction skills.
More than 50 volunteers gathered to paint the Boardwalk bright green, and plantings were installed surrounding each room. The project team worked with local artists to paint murals and signage along the face of the Boardwalk.
Local residents, business owners, and community leaders were deeply involved in all stages of the project – from the initial meet-and-greet to the construction of the Boardwalk itself.
site led the design and construction of the 75th Street Boardwalk in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Planning and Development and an initiative known as All Reimagining Chicago – also known as ARC. Together, this project sought to bring together designers and community organizations to create outdoor dining solutions for neighborhoods and businesses in need. The project was also supported by the Chicago Department of Transportation, Greater Chatham Initiative, and countless other community, program, design, and funding partners.