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This design competition calls for the development of a carbon neutral mixed-used transit oriented development to be located at the 63rd Street Metra Commuter Rail Station. The proposed facility should create a node of local services connecting the adjacent communities of Woodlawn. The Woodlawn Gateway should:

  • Increase location efficiency so people can walk, bike, and take transit

  • Boost transit ridership and minimize vehicular traffic

  • Provide a rich mix of housing, shopping and transportation choices

  • Generate revenue for the public and private sectors and provide value for both new and existing residents

  • Create a sense of place

  • Include programs for Education and At Risk Youth

  • Emerging Sustainable Tech

  • Respond to the proposed Obama Presidential Center, yet serve as a GATEWAY to the Woodlawn Community

  • Show projected growth/impact of project over time

  • Culturally responsive

  • Socially responsible

  • Grounded in urban principles

We require each entry to identify one or more of the following principals from the Smart Growth Initiatives and use it as the impetus of their proposal.

  • Sustainability

  • Transit

  • Economic vitality and opportunity

  • Mobility

  • Cultural and socioeconomic integration

  • Necessary components of daily life

  • Ecological quality

  • Renewable energy sources



Up until 1948, Woodlawn was a middle class, white neighborhood, which grew out of the floods of workers and commerce from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. During the first half of the century, many University of Chicago professors lived in Woodlawn. With the Supreme Court ruling outlawing racially restrictive covenants in the 1950s, the combination of the expanding African American urban population, their limited housing options, and exploitive real estate maneuvers that divided up apartments into kitchenettes, Woodlawn began to have its first African American residents. The play, A Raisin in the Sun is based on Lorraine Hansberry and her family, who were one of the first to move in. Like other communities bordering the ghetto, Woodlawn experienced intense bouts of white flight when the first African Americans moved into the neighborhood (especially the Washington Park Subdivision). Many institutions and people moved to the suburbs, a process that was facilitated by new federal housing loans.


By the early 1960s Woodlawn was a predominantly African American neighborhood with a population of over 80,000 people. 63rd Street was one of the busiest streets on the South Side and was famous for its jazz clubs. Despite its bustle, Woodlawn was an economically deteriorating community, and attempts to revive its citizenry were short-lived and fractured. The community escaped the riots that devastated the West Side after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. mainly. Nevertheless, most business owners fled.


The Woodlawn Community, on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, is one of Chicago’s 77 community areas. It is bounded by Lake Michigan to the east, 60th Street to the north, Martin Luther King Drive to the west, and 67th Street to the south. Both Hyde Park Career Academy and the all-boys Catholic Mount Carmel High School are in this neighborhood; much of its eastern portion is
occupied by Jackson Park. The Woodlawn section of the park includes the site of the planned Obama Presidential Library. The northern edge of Woodlawn contains a portion of the campus of the University of Chicago. Context research info should be on the following but not limited to: History of the 63rd Street Business Corridor, Obama Presidential Center (Library), Stony Island Art’s Bank, Chicago World’s Columbian Expo 1893 and Jackson Park.




October 13th, 2018


  • 1st Place: $2,000

  • 2nd Place: $1,500

  • 3rd Place: $1,000


Download brief for more info. and base files to startup