Another Parklet for Chicago! Logan Square is getting a pop of new green space with the installation of the Intelligentsia Parklet at their Milwaukee Avenue location. We’ve been working with Intelligentsia Coffee for the past few months to create this outdoor outpost, and with freshly issued permits in hand we expect the Parklet to be up and running next spring.
What is a Parklet?
A Parklet (or a “People Spot” here in the City of Chicago) is a small area of the street, the size of one or two parking spaces, that has been reclaimed from cars and returned to people. The idea started in 2005 with PARK(ing) Day—a publicity stunt to take over curbside parking spaces and convert them to public seating areas for one day out of the year—still going strong 11 years later. Shortly after the launch of PARK(ing) Day, the idea caught on and the public open green spaces became a more permanent, year round amenity. moss participated in Chicago’s PARK(ing) day festivities for several years which evolved into designing Chicago’s first permanent Parklet in Andersonville—increasing Chicago’s green space by .006 acres. Find out more about how the people spots are regarded by the Chicagoans who use them in this entertaining video produced by the Metropolitan Planning Council: The city has numerous regulations for People Spots, to ensure they are safe from passing cars, add to the green space of the neighborhood and meet accessibility requirements. Working within those parameters and with CDOT, we designed this two-space parklet to combine standing and seating areas, bike parking and native grasses into one sleek, aluminum (did we mention its recyclable?) wrapped package.
The plan below shows how the People Spot fits seamlessly into the sidewalk. Pedestrians will be drawn to linger by the greenery and cedar wood decking on the sidewalk side. The outside will be protected from splashes and passing cars by a sturdy aluminum frame. A 14″ wide wall will undulate between planters, low benches, and standing height counter perfect for a mid-morning Intelligentsia macchiato. Most exciting is that we were able to incorporate bike parking into the structure itself. The north end of the Parklet is elevated for grandstand type benches, providing a view of the square via Milwaukee Avenue. The posts that supports the grandstand will double as bike racks, while the grandstand itself partially shields bikes from the elements. We can’t wait for you to stop by!
The structure was fabricated by Standard & Custom of Pittsburgh, PA. The landscape planting will be a mix of native, low maintenance grasses, including Palm Sedge, Prairie Dropseed and Switchgrass, supplied and installed by Christy Webber Landscapes.
Fabrication in progress in Pittsburgh – gif style!