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10 Plazas For Pop-Ups, Festivals, Art And More Are Coming To The Neighborhoods With City Funding

The plazas will be created or renovated so neighbors can use them for entertainment, pop-up shops, gardening and other activities.

Crews work on painting a public plaza for community gathering along Chicago and Lockwood avenues in the Austin neighborhood on May 24, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Ten public plazas are coming to Chicago’s neighborhoods thanks to city grants, officials announced Thursday.

The plazas will be used for pop-ups, art, entertainment, gardening and more, according to a city news release. They’ll be built and managed by community groups thanks to grants of up to $500,000 from the Chicago Recovery Plan.

“These transformational projects will bring back what these sites have been missing for years: people and socioeconomic activity,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement.  

Work is expected to start on the plazas this summer. 

The plazas:

Aspire POPFIT   

5500 W. Madison St. in Austin 

The plaza will have public art, a walking trail and a play area that could be converted into an ice rink in the winter.

Fresh Market Plaza   

1201 W. 63rd St. in Englewood   

The trail will have a walking trail, outdoor art and amenities to emphasize health and wellbeing.

IAYV Secret Garden   

Washington Park

The plaza will have a walking path, playground, an area for vendors, gardens and public art.

Overton Center for Excellence   

221 E. 49th St. in Grand Boulevard

The project will have areas for art, nature, entertainment performances and sports.

POP! Heights   

11249 S. Halsted St. in Roseland    

The plaza will have a lawn, basketball court, public art, community garden, a stage for performances and an area for food trucks.

WACA Bell Park   

1921 S. Drake Ave. in North Lawndale    

This project will improve on an existing space by enhancing its basketball facilities and adding a mural and other art, improved seating, playground equipment and a space for public gatherings.

WHiP POP!   

3342 W. Chicago Ave. in Humboldt Park    

This plaza will be used as a family-friendly playscape with room for performance art and activities.

Winthrop Garden   

4628 N. Winthrop Ave. in Uptown

This plaza will improve access to a community garden and will create amenities for outdoor workshops and performances.

POP! Blocks 

5850 W. Chicago Ave. in Austin  

This plaza will create a community gathering space for events.

Englewood Breakroom 

1539 W.63rd St. in West Englewood 

The plaza will host small festivals, performances, pop-ups for local vendors and other events.

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