Pullman transportation plan calls for better mass transit, wayfinding, and bike routes

After collecting comments from Pullman residents and other community stakeholders, officials released a framework transportation plan for the historic Far South Side neighborhood this week. Located 13 miles south of the Loop, Chicago’s original 1880s factory town is expected to draw a growing number of both workers and tourists in the coming years thanks to new developments and its designation as a National Monument in 2015. Pullman Transportation Plan A image illustrating the overlapping local, regional, public, and private entities that would be involved in proposed transit upgrades. Recognizing the potential for growth, the Pullman Transportation Plan presents a multi-faceted approach towards improving connectivity across multiple modes of transit. While Pullman is currently accessible via the Metra Electric District Line and more indirectly through the 95th Street CTA ‘L’ Station, the study concludes that increased train frequency, station upgrades, and better connections to P..

What are Chicago’s biggest transit mistakes and missed opportunities?

The city likes to boast about its robust public transit system, but where does it fall short? Happy Friday dear Curbed readers, it is once again time to have a discussion about Chicago transit. In previous open threads, we’ve discussed themes such as dream transit projects, bike friendliness, whether the Green Line should be extended to Jackson Park, the merits of an O’Hare express line, and just general changes residents would like to see made to the ‘L’ system. During our first-ever Transportation Week, we focused all things transit and highlighted a number of subjects such as light rail innovation via the Yellow Line, the importance of rail and water to Chicago’s growth and success, getting to and around O’Hare, transformative ideas for Chicago transit, and a walk through the underground Chicago Pedway system. But let’s take today’s open thread as an opportunity to discuss where the city has fallen short. There’s always going to be room to improve, but there are certainly some ..

New food incubator project ready to break ground in Chicago’s East Garfield Park

The development would replace a vacant lot next to the Green Line An innovative food incubator project known as ‘The Hatchery Chicago’ has been cleared to start construction in East Garfield Park. Designed to support up-and-coming entrepreneurs and bring new economic investment to Chicago’s West Side, the 67,000-square-foot development has been granted a foundation-only permit to begin work at a vacant lot next to the Green Line at Lake Street and Kedzie Avenue. When complete, the Hatchery will house between 75 and 100 entrepreneurs as well as provide other support services. The Lohan Anderson-designed building will provide access to food-grade work spaces including shared kitchens and 56 private production areas. The project also features spaces for co-working, mentoring programs, events, and an expanded Garfield Park Neighborhood Market. Google Street View 135 N. Kedzie Ave. The $30 million Hatchery project is a joint venture between nonprofits Industrial Council of Nearwest Ch..

9 apartments right off the Blue Line available to rent right now

See what’s for rent near transit stations in Logan Square, the Loop, and Oak Park Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, a regular column exploring what you can rent for a set dollar amount in different Chicago neighborhoods. Is one person's studio another person's townhouse? Let's find out. To celebrate Curbed’s first Transportation Week, we are looking at apartments next to Blue Line stations. ↑ 4217 W. Irving Park Road #2A — Irving Park station The Irving Park area is very residential, which means that it’s mostly a quiet and quaint area. However, this two-bedroom, two-bathroom is located on the busy Irving Park road, so it’s going to be a bit noisier than other parts of the neighborhood. However, the $1,450 rent is tough to beat considering its size and proximity to public transit. ↑ 2660 N. Milwaukee Avenue #3 — Logan Square station Logan Square is by no means the bargain that it once was, but you can still get a place that’s relatively budget-friendly if you look hard..

West Loop hotel tower, library among projects approved by the Chicago Plan Commission

The West Loop development boom is showing no signs of slowing down The redesigned 12-story apartment development proposed for Uptown was far from the only project approved yesterday by the Chicago Plan Commission with an updated look. Four West Loop projects—a hotel, library, apartment development, and office building—received a thumbs up from the Commission. Here’s a quick look at what was approved: Eckenhoff Saunders Architects The 19-story version of 113 N. May presented to neighbors in July [left] versus the 16-story approved yesterday by the Plan Commission [right]. ↑113 W. May Street After presenting West Loop neighbors with plans for a 19-story extended-stay Hyatt hotel a couple of months ago, developer Sterling Bay submitted a shorter, 16-story version to the Chicago Plan Commission this month. In addition to the height cut, the upper portion of the tower has been redesigned by Eckenhoff Saunders Architects. The previous mix of concrete and painted panels has been dropped ..

Gary, Indiana throws name in hat for coveted Amazon HQ2

The rustbelt city located just miles from downtown Chicago is making its case for Amazon’s second HQ Ever since Amazon announced intentions to build a second headquarters in North America earlier this month, countless cities have announced intentions to submit a formal proposal for the coveted corporate outpost which Amazon says will translate to 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment over the course of a decade. Cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Denver, Dallas, and DC have been cited as strong contenders for the project, but a new challenger has approached—Gary, Indiana. The rustbelt city has suffered from decades of deindustrialization which has translated to steady population decline and downtown deterioration. However, in the last couple of years, Gary has made an earnest effort to preserve its historic buildings and to attract attention to the city through architecture tours and fundraising campaigns. However, the northwest Indiana city has its aims on a much bigge..

More transit-oriented apartments headed to Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood

A new seven-story project with 33 units has been cleared to rise along Belmont Avenue A seven-story, mixed-use building is ready to begin construction next to the CTA’s Red, Brown, and Purple Line stop on Belmont Avenue in Lakeview. Developed by GW Properties and designed by NORR Architects, the freshly-permitted project at 945 W. Belmont will deliver 33 rental apartments, 4,000 square feet of ground floor retail, and zero on-site parking spaces. In addition to an outdoor rooftop deck, the development will also feature a side patio designed to respect an existing CTA easement. Earlier this year, an existing three-story building at the site was demolished to clear a path for the upcoming structure. Though transit-oriented development (TOD) has really taken off further west along the CTA’s Blue Line, Lakeview is slowly seeing a handful of smaller apartment projects move forward. For example, new TOD’s have been proposed for 3122 N. Broadway, 2941 N. Clark, 3334 N. Southport, and the ..

A walk through the Chicago Pedway

The underground pedestrian walkway connects dozens of city blocks and buildings Chicago is a city known for its robust air, water, and rail transportation, but its downtown is perhaps best traveled by foot. However, Chicago is also well known for its extreme seasons and unpredictable weather. This is where the nearly five miles of underground pedestrian walkway comes into play—a system which tens of thousands of travelers utilize each day, the city claims. Flickr Creative Common/Yooperann Signage on Michigan Avenue indicating an entrance point to the pedway system. The Chicago Pedestrian Walkway System, commonly known as The Pedway, is a network of underground pedestrian tunnels working in conjunction with street level paths that connect 40 city blocks and almost 50 buildings in the Loop. The longest continuous section of the underground pedway allows one to travel west to east from 120 North LaSalle Street, to the Millennium Park Bike Station, with various points radiating sout..

Transportation that built Chicago: The importance of the railroads

Chicago was—and still is—the nation’s supreme rail transit hub While a strategic position between the Great Lakes and the navigable system of waterways feeding into the Mississippi River might have been the “why” behind Chicago’s rise, the invention of the rail was certainly the “how.” At the height of passenger travel and rail-based commerce, Chicago is the single most important hub for the United States—linking East to West and North to South. While the heyday of rail may be behind us, this mode of transportation is an inseparable part of Chicago’s DNA and will continue to play a prominent in its future. Commercial Transportation Powerhouse Department of Transportation Even in this network map from 1999, Chicago’s central position in rail traffic is apparent. In his 1916 ode to Chicago, Carl Sandburg referred to the city as the “hog butcher for the world, tool maker, stacker of wheat; player with railroads and the nation's freight handle.” With more lines of track radia..

Lincoln Park house from TV’s ‘Family Matters’ to be demolished

A demolition permit was issued this week for the two-story frame house which appeared in the classic TV series Flickr Creative Commons/Camphellview13 The Lincoln Park home that an appearance during the opening theme of every episode of TV’s Family Matters is slated for demolition. A permit was issued by the city two days ago for the demolition of the two-story frame house and its detached garage. The famous house is very likely just one more victim of Lincoln Park’s explosion of upscale new construction. Numerous worker cottages and Victorian-era houses have been demolished in recent years to clear the path for new construction, and it’s looking like this old frame home is to be replaced with a new construction. According to DNAinfo, the property owners plan to build a new three-unit building at the site. The broker representing the property owners tell DNAinfo that “renovating the home wasn't a viable option” and that the owners “plan to decorate the entry with framed photo..

Delightfully retro CTA clip highlights agency’s move to videotape

Step back into the ‘70s with this retro video from Chicago’s transit agency What’s the first thing you do when you get a new camera? Take it with you everywhere and record everything, of course. And naturally, this is what the CTA did when videotape technology really began to take hold in the late ‘70s. In this film, titled A Look at CTA, the CTA takes the viewer through a number of places to witness different experiences. After the intro, the film highlights the always-exciting board meeting (no surprise board members wanted to be in the CTA’s first video), then to the CTA’s Technical Institute, and then finally to the aftermath of a shop fire. The video is delightfully ‘70s retro with its funky soundtrack, the US Bicentennial color scheme on train cars, and of course, lots of sideburns. From the Archives: A Look at CTA (1979) [Youtube]

Quincy station one step away from official Chicago Landmark designation

The Commission on Chicago Landmarks has approved a recommendation to landmark the historic Quincy ‘L’ stop The historic Quincy ‘L’ station which serves Chicago’s Loop is on track to become an official Chicago Landmark. According to an email announcement from 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly sent to constituents last week, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks has recently approved a landmarking recommendation for the 120 year old station. Alderman Reilly adds that the measure will be introduced to the City Council in October for a final vote. The station is significant not only for its age, but for being one of oldest and best preserved original ‘L’ stations. Designed by architect Alfred M. Hedley in the neoclassical style which was quite popular at the time, the elevated transit station first opened in 1897. It remains a link to Chicago’s industrial past but also to the development of the Loop, which received its name based on the path the city’s elevated transit system takes throug..

Uptown transit-oriented apartment proposal returns with a new, glassier look

The project at Wilson and Sheridan was approved at today’s meeting of the Chicago Plan Commission A twelve-story development slated for the southeast corner of Wilson and Sheridan in Uptown appeared before the Chicago Plan Commission today with an updated exterior design. The project, which comes from developer/contractor Clayco and architect Forum Studio, has shed the brick-like cladding seen in previous renderings in favor of a virtually all-glass facade system. The latest image also shows the removal of a concrete rooftop overhang. The 134-foot-tall structure will contain ground floor retail, 150 rental units, and just 29 parking spaces thanks to reductions sought under Chicago’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Ordinance. The $35 million project will also contribute $1 million to the city’s Affordable Housing Opportunity fund, according to Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development. Forum Studio February’s design for Wilson & Sheridan [left] versus what was approved t..

New residence hall and academic center landing on UIC campus

The University of Illinois at Chicago’s new complex will reportedly cost $100 million to construct The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) will build a new academic and student dormitory complex for its downtown campus. The project will be one of the biggest for the university in years, the Chicago Tribune highlights. The news of UIC’s new $100 million facility comes as competing higher education institutions around Chicago, such Columbia College, DePaul University, the University of Chicago, and Northeastern Illinois University continue expanding their footprints and updating their campuses with new buildings. According to the Tribune, the planned facility will feature a 10-story mid-rise segment which will have room for 550 beds while a shorter academic wing will split off from the side. Renderings from an unidentified architect reveal a glassy, almost modular aesthetic. Based on background building in the rendering, it appears that the new complex will be built over what is c..

Rogers Park combo Target store/apartment development cleared to rise

The ‘The Concord at Sheridan’ project will deliver 111 mixed-income housing units An upcoming mix-use development got the official nod to begin construction at 6418 N. Sheridan Road near Loyola University in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. Dubbed ‘The Concord at Sheridan,’ the seven-story project recently landed a building permit estimated at $32 million. The project is a joint venture between the Chicago Housing Authority and private firm Three Corners Development and is designed by GREC Architects. Current plans call for 111 rental apartments, 125 below-grade vehicle parking spaces, and nearly 30,000 square feet of retail space—the majority of which will be leased to a ground floor Target store. Approximately 60% of The Concord’s units would be reserved for CHA residents with the remaining 40% will be rented at market rate. First revealed to the public in January of this year, the project was approved by the Chicago Plan Commission in May. It replaces a small surface parking ..