1203 NORTH CALIFORNIA PROJECT PROGRESS
A new 9-story residential building is under development at the vacant corner of California Ave & Division Street in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. The site anchors the western gateway to the Paseo Boricua, the vibrant art district and commercial corridor extending to Western Avenue. Hispanic Housing Development Corp. is leading the project to construct 64 apartments targeted to families in the community who seek affordable alternatives to relocating out of the area. The program also includes a large multi-story mural by local artist Antonio Beniquez celebrating Humboldt Park’s multicultural heritage, ground-floor retail, indoor parking spaces, a multi-purpose outdoor recreation terrace, and space for sidewalk markets and cafes. Occupancy is scheduled for 2023.
December 17, 2021 - Design Reveal
The building replaces a vacant lot located at California and Divison St. along the west end of the Paseo Boricua, whose transition location between a park, residential district, and thriving commercial corridor is ideally suited to encourage a pedestrian-oriented lifestyle that supports aging in place and handicapped individuals. Within walking distance are grocery stores, banking, a hospital, a public park, and other commercial goods and services. The added population of the boiling will serve to bolster existing businesses while invigorating pedestrian activity for a more vibrant and secure community.
The building responds to the distinguishing characteristics of its corner site. Division St. is an active commercial corridor and is fronted with a facade of traditional masonry materials articulated by entrances and storefronts. The wide walkways will accommodate outdoor market and cafe uses for ground-level tenants to engage with the passersby. The corner space is designed as a meeting room suited to public and private uses intended to facilitate the building's role as community-oriented. The residential entry at California is given room for visual and spatially identity, recessed and marked with graphics and an illuminated entry cover. The existing bus shelter on California Ave maintains its place free from competing entries and displays with a visual connection to the Lobby for user convenience. Service functions and parking are relegated to the rear freeing the street fronts of four curb cuts.
The building contributes to the public realm by 'completing the street' and turning the corner to provide a commercial facade extension to California Ave. The art and cultural expressions of the paseo will be celebrated through a commissioned multi-story, multi-facade mural installation applied to the north side and extending to the west.
Antonio Beniquez, a long-time Humboldt Park area resident, is the original artist responsible for the famed "Humboldt" mural on the building wall facing the project site. The giant mural was a tribute to the neighborhood where he grew up attending the annual Puerto Rican parade on the Paseo Boricua. Antonio will once again be responsible for a new mural on the exposed north side of the building's wall, which will be highly visible driving south on N. California Ave and from Humboldt Park.
The building utilizes a mass that anchors the corner, with frontages oriented to the park and the east skyline for best views and light. It also results in a 2nd-floor open terrace space fronting on Division St that is both semi-protected and well illuminated by the sun. The building is organized around a traditional base, middle and top format to provide a readily understood compositional theme that transitions stylistic conventions that are sensibly digestible in an architectural way.
The facade incorporates masonry trim and face brick materials at ground level that are in harmony with vintage facades and scale of Division St. As the structure moves to the corner and rises, the articulation becomes modular and repetitive with contemporary phenolic rain screen panels, tinted glass, and painted aluminum. The building's corner is anchored with a vertical glazed shaft which serves to bookend the western terminus of the commercial paseo.
The project will utilize a poured in place, post-tension concrete structure supported by drilled caissons. The building skin is an insulated metal stud assembly faced with rain screen ventilated cavity assemblies of brick veneer, stone panels, and high-pressure pressed phenolic panels with integral colors or graphics. The roof and terrace utilize pedestal-supported precast architectural pavers with a modular vegetated extensive green roof system over an insulated membrane.
The project will achieve a 100pt score following the Chicago Sustainable Development Policy designed to meet Energy Star; exceeding the Chicago Energy Code by 10%; providing a Green Roof; reducing indoor water usage by 25%; providing proximity to qualified transit services; providing EV vehicle charging ready facilities; and providing CTA digital display. Many other features that are best practices in resource-efficient construction are incorporated for a durable building that will continue to be owned and managed by the developer.
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