LOGAN SQUARE — After months of collecting feedback from community leaders, the city has unveiled designs for the plaza that will be part of the Logan Square circle redesign.
“La Placita” will comprise gathering spots and green space in the area surrounding the Logan Square Blue Line station.
To make room for the plaza, the city will reroute Kedzie Avenue at the station through what is currently the bus turnaround. The portion of Kedzie Avenue that includes El Cid and Same Day Cafe will be incorporated into the plaza. So instead of driving up to those businesses, residents will walk through the plaza to get to them.
Shown in new drawings, the plaza will include four spaces: a family lounge area with seating and green space, an entry lounge with pedestrian crossing and a “meet up spot,” a plazita and activity hub, and an entertainment lounge outfitted with a stage. Scroll down for the full plans.
The broader traffic circle overhaul project has been in the works for several years, and is being funded through federal and local dollars, including tax-increment financing.
The plaza is meant to celebrate Latin American heritage with Mexican, Puerto Rican and Peruvian-inspired tile detailing. The city used feedback and suggestions from local residents and community groups like Logan Square Neighborhood Association to create the design, said Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), who represents the area where the plaza will be built.
“People from all across Latin America have called Logan Square home for the past half-century, so it was really important to community residents that the heritage is celebrated in the design,” Ramirez-Rosa said. “I think ‘La Placita’ accomplishes that in a really great way.”
Construction is a long way off, Ramirez-Rosa said. Like many infrastructure projects, the plaza and traffic circle redesign projects have been delayed by the pandemic. Ramirez-Rosa said supply chain issues have caused setbacks for the city’s Department of Transportation. But the alderman said construction could begin sometime next year. A Department of Transportation spokesman didn’t return a message seeking comment.
Community leaders have pushed for a public plaza in the heart of Logan Square for years.
The plaza was part of the Logan Square traffic circle design project when it debuted in 2014. Long before that, in the early 2000s, architecture students from Mexico City and then-35th Ward Ald. Vilma Colom unveiled a plan for the area that included a marketplace, or angora, enclosed by an aqueduct, according to the Sun-Times. But that plan never got off the ground.
Ramirez-Rosa said he’s thrilled the long-discussed plan is inching closer to reality.
“For me, it’s really a story of community coming together to do great things and I’m just so pleased that we’ve come this far along. I’m just so excited,” he said.
“Before we know it, there’s going to be a day when you walk out of restaurants like El Cid or Longman & Eagle or the Logan Square Blue Line stop and you enter a beautiful plaza that’s full of life.”
The plaza will coincide with other big infrastructure projects in the area. Upgrades are coming to the Milwaukee Avenue corridor from Belmont Avenue to Logan Boulevard, and the Logan Square traffic circle, the neighborhood’s most confusing intersection, is being completely reworked to improve the flow of traffic and prevent crashes.
Check out the city’s plans below:
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.