One of the interesting things that came out of the Milwaukee Avenue Corridor Development Initiative, is the desire for open space. Every single development scenario, not just the four I’ve featured here (see Scenario 1, Scenario 2, Scenario 3, Scenario 4), included open space of some sort.
Commenting on the imagined development scenarios in the last workshop of the series, the real estate experts did not necessarily agree, either stating that open space was not appropriate on Milwaukee Avenue or that there was already adequate open space in the area.
So who’s “right,” the community or the real estate experts? How about both?
What the community may not know
What many of the community volunteers didn’t know was what open space was already planned for Milwaukee Avenue, and perhaps they didn’t consider what already exists or the potential of what already exists.
The 2004 Logan Square Open Space Plan calls for a plaza (see image below) to be developed directly south of Logan Square proper, west of Milwaukee Avenue in the space now used for parking. The hope is that the Logan Square Farmers Market (see A Square Link or Two in right column) can then utilize the plaza, moving from its current location on the Logan Boulevard service drive east of Milwaukee Avenue to a more suitable home.
The Open Space Plan also calls for the redesign of Logan Square to capture Milwaukee Avenue between east and westbound Logan Boulevard as open space, to render the currently useless space east of Milwaukee Avenue useful, and to make the rest of the square more useful (see image below, bottom of image is oriented north).
Conceptual Redesign of Logan Square
And there is the open space at the “el” station/bus terminal east of Milwaukee Avenue. With the “el” line directly below it,
it does not seem likely that the station area there will be developed with buildings, but the open space (photo left) could certainly be redesigned to be more useful and inviting.
There is another potential opportunity for open space at the Milwaukee-Diversey-
Kimball corner. North of the corner there already exists a triangle of open space across from Fireman’s Park, albeit, again, concrete and trees. There is talk of vacating the tiny section of Woodard Street north of this triangle to expand the triangle and create a more appealing space.
Generous amount of open space
The focus of the Milwaukee Avenue Corridor Development Initiative was from Sacramento Avenue on the south to Wisner Avenue on the north. Along that .8 mile stretch of Milwaukee Avenue then, there are five planned or existing opportunities for open space on public properties, one for every 845 linear feet, or one for every 1-1/3 blocks. In my book, that’s a generous allocation of open space. Granted, the workshops are meant to envision potential Milwaukee Avenue development from California Avenue north to Lawndale Avenue, but that is a stretch beyond the focus of this blog, so I’ll maintain the scope to the shorter stretch more akin to the narrow focus of this blog.
Logan Square Kitchen, a sustainable kitchen and event space, celebrates its grand opening with an Open House, Saturday and Sunday,
September 26-27, 10:00 a.m. –
3:00 p.m., at 2333 N. Milwaukee Ave.; RSVP requested.