WBEZ | Lands End http://www.wbez.org/tags/lands-end Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en From industry to education: A rebirth on South Chicago Avenue http://www.wbez.org/bey/2010/02/from-industry-to-education-a-rebirth-on-south-chicago-avenue/13613 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="375" width="512" alt="(photo by Lee Bey)" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//1314962.jpg" class="size-full wp-image-13611" /><br /><em>Comer College Prep Charter School under construction (photo by Lee Bey)</em></p><p>South Chicago Avenue was an industrial backbone of the South and Southeast Side.&sbquo;&nbsp; Many of&sbquo;&nbsp; the old factories and plants are gone, but a stretch of the street in the Greater Grand Crossing community is learning to survive without them, thanks to architecture, urban planning (and the guy who founded Lands' End). </p><p>Take a look at the Gary C. Comer College Prep Charter School, designed by Chicago architect John Ronan, which will be completed this year near 72nd St and South Chicago. In addition to the photo above,&sbquo;&nbsp; <a target="_blank" href="http://www.jrarch.com/#/projects/institutional/college_prep_2/overview_01">you also can see renderings</a> of the facility.&sbquo;&nbsp; In our early look, you can see what will be two long rows of windows smiling out onto South Chicago Avenue. The prominent entrance does not stare out at the street from behind a giant parking lot;&sbquo;&nbsp;instead, it squares up to the sidewalk and embraces it.<!--break--> </p><p>The building will share a campus with the <a href="http://www.gcychome.org/">Gary Comer Youth Center</a> about a half-block south. Completed in 2006 and also designed by Ronan, the colorful center is a traffic-stopper on the otherwise gray street.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="359" width="502" alt="(photo by Lee Bey)" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//1314996.jpg" class="size-full wp-image-13627" /><br /><em>(photo by Lee Bey)</em></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="278" width="503" alt="(photo by Lee Bey)" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//1315006.jpg" class="size-full wp-image-13628" /><br /><em>(photo by Lee Bey)</em></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="262" width="503" alt="(photo by Lee Bey)" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//1314975.jpg" class="size-full wp-image-13629" /><br /><em>(photo by Lee Bey)</em></p><p style="text-align: left;">The charter school and the youth center are named for Lands' End founder and chairman <a href="http://www.landsend.com/cd/landing/0,,newCoidInd=y:storeNum=1:navColor=1:tabs1Sel=n:tabs2Sel=n:tabs2StructNum=71426:midNavDisp=n,00.html">Gary C. Comer</a>. Comer, who died in 2006, grew up in the Greater Grand Crossing and used his wealth to adopt his old neighborhood and fund the center's construction. His family backs the charter school as well. </p><p style="text-align: left;">Together, the two Comer buildings are a study in contrasts. The youth center is the brash pioneer on the street and uses color and form to mask the wall-like and relatively window-less elevation along&sbquo;&nbsp; South Chicago. The school slips in a little quieter, dispenses with color and just uses windows to grab the street:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="263" width="507" alt="(photo by Lee Bey)" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//13150211.jpg" class="size-full wp-image-13632" /><br /><em>(photo by Lee Bey)</em></p><p style="text-align: left;">The charter school&sbquo;&nbsp; is scheduled to be completed in August.</p></p> Mon, 01 Feb 2010 07:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/bey/2010/02/from-industry-to-education-a-rebirth-on-south-chicago-avenue/13613