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Pilsen, Little Village, West Loop

Closed Little Village Library Being Transformed Into Community Center With Legal Help For Immigrants And Mental Health Services

The project will include the new office space for Latinos Progresando, as well as mental health resources and programs by the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Latinos Progressando purchased the building that housed a former public library from the city for $1, and is now in the process of rehabbing it into a community resource center.
Madison Savedra/ Block Club Chicago
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LITTLE VILLAGE — A nonprofit’s plan to turn an abandoned building into a community center is underway and expected to be completed by next spring.

Project leaders and local officials gathered Tuesday at the site of the old Marshall Square Library building, 2724 W. Cermak Road, to celebrate the project and talk about the opportunities it will bring to the area.

The building will be turned into a community center for Latinos Progresando, a Little Village nonprofit that provides legal aid for immigrants.

Latinos Progresando has worked on the project for years along with community partners and investors. They bought the site from the city for $1 and broke ground in February, project leaders said.

The community center will house Latinos Progresando’s new office, mental health services from Esperanza Health and after-school and summer programs from the Lincoln Park Zoo for nearby students.

“Our neighborhood has so much talent, and what we need is opportunity,” said Luis Gutierrez, founder and CEO of Latinos Progresando.

The Marshall Square library branch closed in November 2009 and was replaced with the Little Village branch, 2311 S. Kedzie Ave., when it opened in 2011. The building has been vacant since.

Ald. George Cardenas (12th) praised the nonprofit’s work and the return of a public asset to community use.

“Any asset that belongs to taxpayers ought to be put to use by organizations that have the best interest in the community,” Cardenas said.

Officials said they expect the project to be completed by next spring.

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