Placemaking: West Englewood (near 63rd Street and Damon Avenue)
As part of the Metropolitan Planning Council’s 2014 Placemaking Challenge, volunteers will spend one weekend in August transforming and renovating underused spaces in their communities. Every $10 donation made through this page will help volunteers complete the following project.
- The Site: The empty lot at 1947 W. 63rd Street, next to the original location of Fultonia
- About Fultonia: In 1958, Dr. Alvenia Moody Fulton opened a hybrid health-food store/restaurant/temple to promote healthful living through vegetarianism, herbal medicine, and fasting. Not only did Dr. Fulton mentor celebrities such as Dick Gregory and Muhammad Ali, she was so involved with the West Englewood neighborhood that it named a stretch of 63rd Street in her honor.
- The Plan: On Friday, August 15, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. volunteers will enliven the empty lot and pay tribute to Dr. Fulton’s legacy by hosting a healthy-living happy hour complete with a popup juice bar, information on local food options, live music, and a screening of Soul Food Junkies. Organizers would also like people who knew Dr. Fulton or were touched by her work to help compile an audio archive of their remembrances of her.
- The Vision: Organizers hope to educate people about Dr. Fulton’s pioneering work and draw attention to the current ecosystem of healthy living in the area. They would also like to attract long-term funding so the Fultonia project can continue programming on a seasonal basis.
- The Total Cost: $1,000
Metropolitan Planning Council’s 2014 Placemaking Challenge
If Chicagoland were a machine, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) would be the engineer ensuring its smooth operation. Through partnerships with businesses, communities, and governments, the MPC has worked to make Chicago a more prosperous place to live since 1934. Adhering to a philosophy of interconnectedness, the planners and developers behind the MPC understand that everything from transportation networks to public housing to the workforce fueling the economy must work together to keep the city healthy.
This summer, MPC is embarking on a quest to motivate Chicago-based individuals and community groups to activate and transform public spaces through the 2014 Placemaking Challenge. After equipping people with the necessary information and inspiration to transform underused neighborhood spots, the Placemaking challenge empowers them to make an impact. With the assistance of the community, participants will design and implement their Placemaking intervention of choice—whether transforming a trash-covered lot into a garden or adding allure to a dull retail strip—during the weekend of August 15–17.
Participants also have an opportunity to win one of four $1,000 prizes—including a Groupon Love Local Award sponsored by Groupon Grassroots—to fuel their efforts. By simply sharing and promoting their work in the neighborhood and Placemaking stories through the MPC website, participants are eligible for a prize. After a public vote and determination from MPC’s judges, winners will be selected, and all participants will celebrate at a September event.