Parkside of Old Town
Chicago Housing Authority, Holsten Management Corporation
Winston Churchill’s dictum that “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” was never more true than in regard to public housing. For years, many public housing developments in this country have been a locus of neglect, crime, and social upheaval. This has left many projects in a state of near-ruin and effectively segregated urban populations along racial and economic lines. When the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) created the HOPE VI program, it did so with the intent of addressing these issues and reversing decades-old trends by decentralizing the public housing units and integrating them with both subsidized and market-rate housing.
Chicago’s infamous Cabrini-Green complex was one of the first to see the benefits of this new approach. The result was a community that was connected to the nearby neighborhoods by its streets, density, architectural character, and demographics. Phase II of the Cabrini-Green redevelopment, known as North Town Park, will take the fabric and scale of the successful first phase and extend it further north.
Wolff Landscape Architecture, Inc. worked with a team of architects, HOPE VI experts, attorneys, and marketing professionals to plan a community of mid-rise buildings, townhomes, and apartments with families of all income groups evenly distributed throughout the site. An extensive series of boulevards, parks, and playgrounds works in concert with a restored street grid, parkways, sidewalks, lighting, and special signage and neighborhood entry features to create a community where residents of all incomes, races, and circumstances can live with dignity and the pride of home ownership in a stable, attractive neighborhood.