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Last month Northside real estate broker Eric Rojas came by for a visit and video shoot.  Click over to Eric’s blog to see the full tour here.

 

 

We have completed our passive house project in Lakeview, which consists of a 150 square foot addition to the second floor, bathroom and bedroom remodel, and overhaul of the west facade.  Over the last 100 years the existing house received several disjointed additions and subtractions.  Our clients, an extended family of five, had been sharing a way-too-small bathroom for the better part of a decade and needed an extra bedroom and more efficient space.  Instead of simply adding space over the existing one-story kitchen to accommodate the new third bedroom and bathroom, our solution incorporated a previous ‘appendage’ addition into the design scheme while also taking into account solar orientation and passive design strategies.  The design scheme intentionally demarcates from the existing faux-Victorian aesthetic to provide a more sustainable and relevant design methodology.  Photos and details inside. Read the rest of this entry »

Last week, we revealed the initial designs for new public open space at 3400 North Paulina Street (formerly a tire repair shop, and now a vacant lot).  First mentioned in the Lakeview Area Master Plan, public open space at this site would attract shoppers from outside the neighborhood to the street and provide a gathering spot for local residents and shoppers.  During our research for the master plan, Lakeview residents ranked the need for more public open space as their top priority for the neighborhood. It outranked safety, parking, shopping options, and every other category by a wide margin. Open space at this location responds to that desire while creating a new public plaza and park at the Paulina Brown Line station.  Furthermore, open space at this site will surely help to make the rest of Lincoln Avenue more desirable to retailers and residential developers. (There are 5 other vacant lots within 1 block of the Paulina station and many underdeveloped properties.) It should also be obvious the inhospitable nature of residential units directly adjacent to an El platform. Doors closing, Southport will be next, doors open on the right at Southport. Oh, sorry, excuse the interruption.

Best of all, this is a project you can help make happen! Take this one question survey to support the plan for open space at 3400 Paulina.

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We are reclaiming urban public space for people on PARK(ing) Day, Friday, September 16, 2011 from 9am to 5pm.  The designed “PARK(ing) spaces”, metered parking spaces converted into temporary green parks, will be located in front of Southport Grocery, 3552 North Southport Avenue.  The ‘park’ will feature a bicycle repair station, live music, and a lawn for dining and enjoying the day.

In 2009 and 2010, moss Design converted parking spaces into temporary public space, which will be expanded this year to highlight the need for bike infrastructure and open space in Lakeview.  Earlier this year moss Design unveiled a sustainable master plan, prepared for the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce and SSA 27.  Part of the plan was a call for more unique and accessible public open space.  This year’s PARK(ing) Day theme is a “Bicycle Comfort Station” featuring free food, live music, bike parking and repair, and relaxation areas.  Think of it as the mini-mart of the future.
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I came across this cool (and nerdy) Chicago SSA comparative map we put together for the LAMP project.  Discovery: Wicker Park-Bucktown SSA is huge.  Enjoy.

After 100 years of disjointed additions and subtractions our project on Hermitage is about to get a serious makeover in the first phase of a robust passive design renovation. Our clients, an extended family of five, had been sharing a-way-too-small bathroom for the better part of a decade and needed some extra room and freshened space.  Also, the third bedroom felt more like a generously sized closet which did not have room for much more than a bed. Instead of simply adding space over the existing one-story kitchen to accommodate the enlarged third bedroom and bathroom, our solution incorporated a previous ‘appendage’ addition into the design scheme while also taking into account solar orientation and passive design strategies. The design scheme intentionally demarcates from the existing faux-Victorian aesthetic to provide a more sustainable and relevant design methodology. Drawings and more info inside.  Read the rest of this entry »

Moss reveals the Lakeview Area Master Plan to the Lakeview community and Chicago.  The master plan, in its entirety, is available here.

The Lakeview Area Master Plan (LAMP) will be revealed tonight, but there is one element that I think deserves special attention.

When research began on the project we were out surveying neighborhood inventory, like bike racks, streetscape environments, facade conditions, and public space.  After investigating we found that Lakeview contains only .2 acres of open space per 1000 residents (The ideal ratio is 2 acres per 1000 people).  This notion was reinforced during the public open houses and interview sessions when residents cried out for more public open space.  So where, in a dense, developed urban neighborhood do we find available land for public space?  We thought, let’s look for space on top of things and under things! Read the rest of this entry »

moss interviewed Lakeview business owners to investigate what they like (or don’t like) about the neighborhood, along with their vision for change.  Agree with their assessment? or Don’t?  Comment below.

Along with these business interviews, we are currently in the process of surveying residents and holding public open houses to gather more information for the upcoming community design process.

Change is coming to West Lakeview.  Stay tuned

Parking. Its a sore subject here in Chicago.  In 2008 the City decided to privatize it’s 36,000 parking meters – in reality leasing an 8′ wide section of asphalt from the curb to the sometimes-present-bike lane – to a group made up of Morgan Stanley, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Allianz Capital Partners for a $1.16B. Since then, everyone in the City, nay, the world, seems to have developed a disdain to the selling off of public assets.  And rightly so.  Bloomberg News discovered just last month that we Chicagoans got royally hosed on the deal.  It turns out the private group will net $9.58B over the course of the 75-year term.  Oops.  This is more than twice what Alderman Scott Waguespack estimated the City would loose in profits when he denounced the deal and subsequently voted against it in the City Council.

This doesn’t stop the City from praising itself for the move, as Chicago’s CFO, Gene Saffold, touted, “The concession agreement was absolutely the best deal for Chicagoans”.  Going on to wax delusional, “The net present value of $11.6 billion in revenue over the life of the 75-year agreement is consistent with $1.15 billion the city received.”  Um, yeah.  You say this guy does the City’s accounting, eh.  Meanwhile, the Chicago’s Office of the Inspector General called the deal “dubious” since Saffold, “failed to calculate how much the system would be worth over 75 years.  The present value of the contract was $2.13 billion, more than the $1.15 billion the city received”, according to Bloomberg. Read the rest of this entry »

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