Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Do-Not-Miss (unless you are on deadline) Garden Club Lecture, Mon. March 7

(All content, below, via Doug Wood of the wicker park garden club. Click on the photo, at right, to enlarge)

Monday, March 7 – 7-8:30 PM
Wicker Park Field House – 1425 N. Damen

The Bloomingdale Trail – Plans and Designs

Michael Wilkinson – Architect
Wilkinson Blender Architecture, Inc

Utilizing the City’s Infrastructure to Create the New Urban Landscape
History of the Project – The Key Players – Designs
What is Next?

Reservations: Wpgarden@aol.com or 773-278-9075
$8 – Pay at Door – Cash or Check to Wicker Park Garden Club

Wicker Park Garden Club Educational Programming www.WPGarden.org

Book – Envisioning the Bloomingdale 5 Concepts

City officials are in the process of choosing designers and engineers to turn 2.7 miles of rail line into the Bloomingdale Trail, the longest elevated trail in the country and one of a very few elevated rail-trail conversion projects being considered nationally. Planners envision a linear urban park that runs from North Ashland Avenue west to three blocks past Central Park Avenue, connecting the Bucktown and Wicker Park neighborhoods with the residential areas of Logan Square and Humboldt Park. It rises about 15 feet above street level and is only 30 feet wide for most of its length. It is among several "Green Legacy" projects listed by The Burnham Plan Centennial, a public-private partnership celebrating the legacy of Daniel Burnham's 1909 Plan of Chicago.

In 2007, the Chicago Architectural Club (Michael Wilkinson-President) directed an exhibition to explore strategies for the re-appropriation of an underutilized freight train line on the north side of Chicago known as the Bloomingdale Line. The goal of the exhibition was to generate awareness of the future value of the freight line as a public amenity and to draw attention to the design process that would enable this to happen. A book entitled Envisioning the Bloomingdale 5 Concepts (Foreword by Mohsen Mostafavi and an Introduction by Michael Wilkinson) includes a catalog and review of twenty-six design proposals for the Bloomingdale Line as well as essays from invited contributors that discuss the role of architecture in the design and execution of infrastructural work and explore the interface between architecture, landscape, engineering, and ecological practice in the design of postindustrial landscapes.

Michael Wilkinson and Richard Blender are principle architects at their firm Wilkinson Blender Architecture///Construction located in Chicago. Michael (Master of Architecture – U. of Pennsylvania) is a member of the American Institute of Architects, an associate adjunct professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology (2003-06), co-president Chicago Architecture Club (2006-08), associate adjunct professor at University of Illinois at Chicago (1996-09), and Past-Chairman of Roscoe Village Neighbors Zoning Committee.

From his firm’s website: ‘One extremely important aspect of our role as architects includes the ability to Imagine. Our job requires us to envision a world (or part of it) that does not yet exist. We constantly think about, talk about, design, detail, model, shape and render spaces and objects that will not be occupied until some point in the future.’


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