Northcenter Town Square transforms an existing plaza and dead-end cul-de-sac into a neighborhood hub that includes a new play area, a large raised lawn, and a covered performance stage.

NORTHCENTER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, SSA #38, ALDERMAN 47TH WARD, AND CHICAGO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (CDOT)

Northcenter Town Square

The existing urban plaza at Northcenter Town Square was little more than a grid of dying trees, and tired old paving, adjacent to a dead-end cul-de-sac. Outside of occasional programmed activities—street festivals, farmer’s markets, neighborhood concerts— the space generally sat empty. PORT developed a concept that unified the existing plaza and cul-de-sac to accommodate the existing programming and revitalize the space for daily neighborhood use.
COLLABORATORS
Civil Engineer: Civiltech

Site Context

Northcenter Town Square is centrally located in the Northcenter neighborhood. The square has long served as both a formal and informal gathering and event space for the community. Community feedback revealed overwhelming support for the closure of the cul-de-sac to expand the Town Square.

Cul-de-sac Closure

Closure of the cul-de-sac provided the opportunity for over 28,000 square feet of public open space and increased the recognition of the Town Square as the “heart” of the Northcenter neighborhood.
To establish a thriving tree canopy, the design preserved all existing, healthy trees and replaced unhealthy, infected trees. The design enlivened the existing plaza with new seating, additional planting, a play mound, a decorative fence, a pedestal paving system, a raised artificial lawn and a stage with a removable canopy.

Community Events

The new plaza space also supports large community events, ranging in scale from weekly farmer’s markets to Northcenter’s annual Ribfest (pictured here).

Northcenter Town Square opened in the summer of 2020 and has become a destination for the neighborhood to relax, eat, and play.

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