What do you think?: Reconfiguring gateways to Wicker Park, East Village, Pulaski Park and Noble Square -- The Polish Triangle


Placemakers come from all walks of life and are all ages. You can be one from your own computer.

Work by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) on the Polish Triangle, bordered by Milwaukee, Division and Ashland, is in the planning stages and the Polish Triangle Coalition (PTC) is soliciting community input about the revitalization of this gateway to four of Chicago's historic yet vibrant neighborhoods. 


"Doorways" give you an entrance to the Triangle

The results of a brief survey will give PTC direction as they work to bring a cohesive plan together with City agencies, private entities and funding resources for a revitalization of the Polish Triangle. These efforts are a continuation of planning that began in 2002.


A wall of ribbons defined a space (room) in the Triangle

During the last Tuesdays at the Triangle on Sept. 2, the PTC program was a placemaking experience. Rolls of dayglow plastic ribbon/tape was given to all who wished to engage. People individually and in groups began marking off portions of the Triangle. 

As a result, participants and passersby stopped and experienced the space differently than before. One area at the southwest corner (Division and Ashland) created the sense of an entrance. Walking thru it gave the illusion that you were walking into a room. 


Dancing ribbons mesmerized some Triangle users

At the southeast corner (Division and Milwaukee), many people created a "room." Creating lengths of "fringe" strung between objects produced a fascinating feature that mesmerized people as they watched the ribbons dance mid air. 


Open stairway to Blue Line will be covered by a structure. What should it look like?

Now it is time for more people who live, work. pass by occasionally, or take the stairs at the Blue Line Division Station to be part of making this precious public space into a place that will encourage more enjoyable usage. 

Give your opinions via this short survey. Click here

Efforts to bring change at that hub of transportation took root in 2002 when the Chicago Department of Planning and Development adopted A Plan for Chicago’s Near Northwest Side. It outlines a vision for parts of West Town and north toward Wicker Park, from the Ukrainian Village neighborhood to River West and Halsted Street. The Polish Triangle was the furthest north point of that study. 


During the 2013 Tuesdays at the Triangle, Katherine Darnstadt's Blah Blah Blob provided another placemaking opportunity

Then in 2008, The Master Plan for the WPB SSA #33 was published and was adopted by the Wicker Park--Bucktown Chamber of Commerce the next year. 


The inside experience of the Blob

Also in 2009 The Chicago Planning Commission adopted the Transit Friendly Development Guide for station area typology. In it the CTA Blue Line Division station is classified as a "major activity center." 

Recommendation in the guide focused on placemaking by preserving and improving the pedestrian environment, walkability, bicycling and transit access, while ensuring a balance between commercial and residential use. 

Early in 2009 the Metropolitan Planning Commission and WPB SSA #33 brought together a steer committee to guide a placemaking project at the Polish Triangle, publishing Placemaking at the Polish Triangle.

The Polish Triangle Coalition is a group of community leaders and educators who have been meeting regularly since August 2011 to work on ideas and implementation for improving the environment at the Polish Triangle.


The Nelson Algren Fountain Must Stay!

Under no circumstances should any "master plan" for renovating the Polish Triangle involve downplaying or removing the Nerlson Algren Memorial Fountain. This is one of the signature accomplishments of the Algren Memorial Committee and we owe a great debt of gratitude to former member Char Sandstrom for being one of the "engines" behind that project. Lately we have been hearing rumors that the Fountain will be dismantled. On the contrary it should be beautified along with the rest if the Triangle. Special emphasis shoukd be given to Algren's quotation that surrounds the structure at its foot: "Those who do the city's labor also hold the city's heart."

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