You may recall that in May, the Metropolitan Planning Council, at the invitation of Ald. Cappleman, held three meetings to get community input into what happens with the building formerly known as Graeme Stewart School and the empty spaces that will be left near the Wilson Red Line station after the reconfiguration takes place. After the meetings, there was an opportunity for residents to participate in a survey reacting to several proposals that arose from the three community workshops.
MPC has just released its conclusions from the process and you can read all about it, here. There is a brief overview on page 3 of the report, which is reproduced below. If you'd like to read the entire explanation of the recommendations that MPC arrived at, you can go to pages 18 and 19. It's a good read, if you're into that kind of thing (and we are).
Here's the short version of the conclusions derived from the workshops and survey:
"The following summarizes the primary conclusions of the majority of participants in the Uptown CDI workshops and online survey. For more details, see page 18.
Both sitesAgain, the entire report is here.
- Dense, mixed-use buildings that fit within the urban fabric of Uptown are preferred.
- Many participants stated that any new housing built should be targeted to a range of income levels, with at least some portion of the building dedicated to low-income households.
- Given the proximity of the sites to Wilson Station, developments should only include the minimum required parking spaces.Stewart School site
- The existing school building, a beautiful, historic and important structure in Uptown, should be preserved and reused.
- If the building is reused as a school, the community’s strong preference is that it be a public school.
- If the building is not reused as a school, at least part of the redevelopment should serve the neighborhood, whether as a community, arts or youth center, a farmers market or otherwise.
- New construction should be planned for the parking lot adjacent to the school, at a scale similar to the school building (about four to six stories).
- Retail options should be incorporated at the ground level if possible, preferably facing Broadway.Wilson Station site
- The redevelopment of Wilson Station offers the opportunity to significantly improve the space under the elevated rail tracks. Working with Truman College and local businesses, CTA should improve lighting and offer a paved, landscaped connection between Truman College and Broadway.
- Development on the parcel just west of the CTA tracks is acceptable to the community, particularly if it includes retail facing Wilson Avenue and an “eyes on the street” design that emphasizes safety for pedestrians."