Parks & Public Spaces
Lakeview is home to some of Chicago's best parks and public spaces. Special Service Area (SSA) 27 and Friends of Lakeview creates and maintains several unique spaces throughout the neighborhood to provide pedestrians with a place to linger and enjoy free public programming while making Lakeview a more vibrant community for residents and visitors alike.
Southport Ave. to Lincoln Ave. Beneath the CTA 'L' Tracks
The Lakeview Low-Line re-envisions the half-mile space beneath the CTA ‘L’ tracks between Southport and Lincoln avenues as an exciting Chicago art destination and a fun and dynamic path connecting Lakeview. As a unique attraction, the Lakeview Low-Line not only beautifies and greens the neighborhood, but also has the potential to become a landmark attracting attention to Lakeview and Chicago while encouraging both visitors and residents to explore Lakeview’s local business districts.
First introduced in the 2011 Lakeview Area Master Plan (LAMP), the project began taking shape in 2016 with the transformation of a former CTA parking lot at Southport Ave. into a flexible plaza that hosts the Low-Line Market and artwork on four large mural walls. In 2018, crews completed the Paulina Plaza at the west end of the future Low-Line path, creating a dynamic new public space that incorporates enhanced lighting, seating elements, public art, and pathway improvements.
Work is ongoing to plan for and complete the ultimate Low-Line vision of creating a continuous connection between Southport and Lincoln avenues. Learn more and support the project at www.lakeviewlowline.com.
The Lincoln Hub
Intersection of Lincoln/Southport/Wellington
The Lincoln Hub installation at Lincoln/Wellington/Southport combines traffic calming, pedestrian improvements and public art to create a memorable focal point for the Lincoln Avenue corridor in Lakeview. Painted corner bump-outs at the Lincoln Hub help to slow traffic to safer speeds while reducing the crossing distance for pedestrians by 34%. The bump-outs also increase the pedestrian space, providing room for new seating and landscaping that welcomes people to linger. The intersection features a colorful, attention-grabbing art installation painted on the street and sidewalk surface on all six corners, which visually ties the corners together and highlights the area as the heart of the neighborhood.
The Lincoln Hub is part of a larger placemaking plan aimed at making Lincoln Avenue between Diversey and Belmont a more attractive place to visit, live and do business. The plan identified smaller-budget, short-term improvement projects—including sidewalk seating, landscaping, and artistic motifs—that could be implemented along four blocks of Lincoln Avenue, serving as a temporary intervention until the City begins a more significant streetscape overhaul. The plan is based on community input from more than 250 people gathered in two public open house meetings and through an online survey. The project was funded by SSA 27 and designed by site design group, ltd., earning a 2015 Charter Award from the Illinois Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism.
3100-3118 N. Lincoln Ave. and 3418-3422 N. Lincoln Ave. (Coming Soon!)
People Spots are pedestrian decks that extend the sidewalk into the street to create welcoming seasonal public spaces with landscaping and seating to be enjoyed by the community and visitors. They are part of the Chicago Department of Transportation's Make Way for People program, which aims to create public spaces that cultivate community and culture in Chicago’s neighborhoods through placemaking. Lakeview is home to two People Spots that are typically installed from May through November each year in new locations that change every few years. One of the People Spots features an iconic public art bench that received an award from AIA Chicago in 2014, while the other features cafe tables and chairs and chaise lounge seats. Both People Spots are funded by SSA 27 and were designed locally by dSPACE Studio.
Sidewalk Seating Area
3505 N. Southport Ave.
Led by Special Service Area (SSA) 27, the Sheil Park sidewalk seating area provides seating for pedestrians while creating a new neighborhood focal point encouraging people to explore shopping, dining and entertainment options along the Southport Corridor. The first-of-its-kind public space includes modern benches, landscaping elements, and a sidewalk art motif that draws its color and inspiration from the blue awnings of the Chicago Park District building while giving a celebratory nod to the neighborhood’s beloved baseball team. Alongside the seating area, local artist George Berlin worked with the team at the Lakeview FASTSIGNS to install his colorful window mural celebrating the range of programming hosted by Sheil Park over its 40-year history on Southport. SSA 27 will eventually offer free public WiFi within this public space, inviting pedestrians to browse the Internet while enjoying everything the neighborhood has to offer. The sidewalk seating area was designed by site design group, ltd., a Chicago-based landscape architecture, urban design, and architecture firm, with input and support from 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney and the Chicago Park District.
There are several Chicago Park District parks, playlots and facilities in Lakeview:
- Chi Che Wang Playlot Park (1719 W. Wolfram St.)
- Juniper Park (3652 N. Greenview Ave.)
- Lois Klein Park (3538-3540 N. Lincoln Ave.)
- Margaret Donahue Park (1230 W. School St.)
- Merryman Playlot Park (3736 N. Marshfield Ave.)
- Sheil Park (3505 N. Southport Ave.)
- South Lakeview Playground Park (1300 W. Wolfram St.)
- Wieboldt Playlot Park (1747 W. Nelson St.)
Public Seating Survey
The Board of Commissioners of Special Service Area (SSA) 27 is gathering feedback from the Lakeview community to help determine where to prioritize investments new public seating areas. Businesses, residents and other community members are invited to complete a short 3-minute survey by Monday, January 21, 2019 to help inform future investments in public seating areas in West Lakeview.