The Andersonville Parklet (or People Spot, according to CDOT) is just wrapping construction now. We have added a robust .006 acres to Chicago’s park system. Details and progress photos inside.
moss and Studio Murmur co-designed Chicago’s first parklet / people space, a small urban park, that will transform former parking spaces into a semi-permanent urban oasis. The parklet, which will be built in two parking spaces at Clark and Farragut, will serve as a green retreat in the dense commercial district of Andersonville. Parklet amenities will include an herb garden, native Illinois plants, built-in benches, bike parking, and a planted hill for lounging. The parklet was nominated for the Ford Community Green Grant in May 2012.
moss is deeply committed to the reintroduction of green, public spaces into the urban fabric, which often lack communal places to relax and reconnect with the natural world. Three years ago, moss led Chicago’s first PARK(ing) Day, a one-day transformation of parking spaces into temporary public parks, complete with plants, snacks, music and art. Since 2009, the installation has grown from three spaces to nearly half a block.
“We wanted to design and provide much needed green space for the community, which is all too often missing from urban living. My experience with PARK(ing) day has been that people really love to have a place, the more random the better, where they can stretch out and enjoy the day,” said Matt Nardella, principal architect at moss. “I think it will create a friendlier environment for pedestrians and cyclists that will help small businesses and everyone else. The art of sitting and doing very little is essential to our health.”
Chicago’s first parklet is part of an initiative by eco-Andersonville and the Andersonville Development Corporation (ADC) to promote sustainability and improve accessibility for cyclists and pedestrians throughout the neighborhood. “The trends are changing: the majority of people coming to Andersonville these days are not traveling by car, they are coming on foot, bicycle or the CTA,” said Brian Bonnano of the ADC. “This project and future ones like it, are long-term investments for Andersonville. We know a parklet cannot offer all of the amenities of a full scale park, but we believe it can give people a place to take in the neighborhood, meet a friend, read a book, or even for a moment forget they are surrounded by brick and concrete.”
The parklet is clad with recycled HDPE panels (made from recycled milk jugs) donated by Loll Designs of Duluth, MN and Intectural. The parklet is planted with native perennials from Gethsemane Garden Supply. The Andersonville Development Corporation is partnering with the Chicago Department of Transportation to make the parklet possible. This pilot parklet is generously supported by the ADC and a successful kickstarter campaign funded with community support. The funds will be used to fuel seasonal plantings, park seating and future parklets, which moss will continue working with ADC on in the coming months.