East Side Memorial Plaza

The East Side Memorial Plaza initiative involves transforming an underused area under the Chicago Skyway into a welcoming town square and veterans’ memorial. Great Cities Institute has worked with local businesses and community organizations to bring forward ideas to enhance community use of the space.


Project Information

In Spring 2019, the UIC School of Architecture hosted a studio focusing on designing a community plaza in Chicago’s East Side neighborhood. The site, divided by major roads, currently features the North Trailhead for the Burnham Greenway, East Side Memorial, and a small park. Historically, East Side was shaped by the Calumet River and its industries, but economic shifts have left the community seeking cohesion. The East Side Chamber of Commerce seeked visionary plans to transform an underused area under the Chicago Skyway into a town square and veterans’ memorial, welcoming visitors and providing a community space. With guidance from the Great Cities Institute, UIC students developed three proposals, aiming to showcase East Side’s uniqueness and foster community pride. Through site visits, presentations, and community feedback, students incorporated local insight into their designs. GCI remains committed to supporting the Chamber and other stakeholders in bringing these ideas to life.

Currently the project team is conducting outreach to develop a community stewardship and governance plan for the site. If you would like to participate in this project and/or provide your thoughts and feedback, please contact GCI or fill out the form.


Additional Project Resources

Report Credit: Metropolitan Planning Council | For Direct Link, Please Click Here.






Follow us on Instagram (@uicgreatcities) for up-to-date news and photos on Great Cities Institute’s Calumet Region projects.