Community Jewel Undergoes Renovation

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Residents of Pilsen gathered around the Plaza Tenochtitlan Wednesday morning to begin work on the renovation that will offer ample green space and pedestrian accessibility.

Pilsen residents will have something to look forward to this summer. Plaza Tenochtitlan, considered the ‘urban center’ in the community, will undergo renovations and improvements beginning this week, according to Alderman Daniel Solis. “I am proud of the plan we have in place to continue to revitalize the 25th Ward while celebrating its unique culture and history,” said Ald. Solis in a statement.

Located on 18th St. and Blue Island, Plaza Tenochtitlan is an open space that reflects the neighborhood’s colorful history and character. The renovations aim to offer more ‘green’ spaces and encourage pedestrian accessibility. “The upgrades to the Plaza will maximize economic development opportunities for local business tenants, shoppers, and visitors alike.”

Work began this week and will continue through this summer. The renovation of the Plaza will be led by the Chicago Public Art Group and muralist Hector Duarte. The project will also be supported by the local Yollocalli Youth Arts Reach and Jos. Cacciatore and Co. Real Estate. “The goal is to enhance and add to the greening of the Plaza site. The mosaic planters will not only serve as pieces of public art, but will feature native and seasonal planting,” said Solis.

Planned design enhancement elements include:

  • Improved lighting and electrical upgrades to support community safety and, evening programming
  • Blue Island Greenscape (elements include future analysis of limited vehicle use and protected bike lanes)
  • Ongoing discussions with CDOT in improving the pedestrian environment

Accessibility and Identifiers

  • Enhanced bicycle parking
  • Street place making signage
  • Friendly seating options
  • Plaza programming such as pop-up art fairs, mini-concerts and other outdoor activities

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