Chicago, Illinois, USA
As a piece of infrastructure there may be no greater icon of American progress than Route 66. Now referred to as Ogden Avenue, the historic highway runs through the neighborhood of North Lawndale in Chicago. This area of the city has been neglected for many years, but as part of the Invest South West Initiative revitalization has at last begun. Among other things, the neighborhood is in need of quality affordable housing with vibrant, family friendly public spaces. JGMA along with East Lake Management and Grace at Jerusalem CDC has developed and designed Grace Manor; a 6 story apartment building, as part of this effort.
Featuring 65 units of one or two bedrooms, the architecture celebrates the link to Route 66 while borrowing from the neighboring buildings. The colorful horizontal bands that run along each floor edge get their hue from a study of materials already existing in the neighborhood. The color is extrapolated up the facade, running as a frit applied to the floor-to-ceiling windows. Each unit has its own outdoor terrace, adding more life to the facade. Understanding that many of the tenants will be families, the building has been set back off the road as far as possible. Combining furniture, lighting, and landscape elements; four outdoor rooms were created to allow for safe play places for children and their parents.
Grace Manor is one of the leading projects looking to reintroduce vivid and energetic spaces to the North Lawndale neighborhood. Featuring quality residences and amenities the project, as Route 66 once was, will be part of a new era of progress and hope.