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A West Side Plaza Will Become A Communal Gathering Place Made From Customized Shipping Containers

By Secret Chicago

A West Side Plaza Will Become A Communal Gathering Place Made From Customized Shipping Containers

Organizers are repurposing several shipping containers that will house a mini-museum, a café, and a flower shop.

A GoFundMe page launched towards the end of last month is attempting to raise $25,000 in order to repurpose a North Lawndale plaza at Central Park Avenue and Douglas Boulevard. The project is a collaborative effort between The Historic Stone Temple Baptist Church, the Lawndale Pop-Up Spot, and Homan Grown L3C – a low-profit social enterprise focused on “creating regenerative edible and ornamental landscapes.”

Currently owned by the Stone Temple Missionary Baptist Church located just across the street at 3622 W. Douglas Blvd, the new Love Blooms Here Plaza will offer a new communal gathering space filled with repurposed shipping containers.

According to the fundraiser, the goal of the North Lawndale plaza is “to create economic opportunities, community cohesion, and safety in a neighborhood that has long been systematically disinvested.”

The new shared space will host gatherings and events as well as offer up new retail opportunities and house a community museum called “Lawndale: A Living History” run by the Lawndale Pop-Up Spot. Another upcycled shipping container will home a flower shop selling flowers grown at a nearby flower farm and the third shipping container will be transformed into a small coffee shop using outdoor seating on the plaza.

By partnering with Stone Temple Missionary Baptist Church, visitors will be able to use the local amenities found a short walk away within the church, and projects can consequently be organized and operated at a very low cost.

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The GoFundMe page reads that contributions will go towards creating “a fully ADA accessible community space with public art, beautiful landscaping, promoting peaceful family-friendly activities, and health and well-being.” Upcycled shipping containers are one of the innovative ways that the organizers are employing to make the plaza a fully green area.

Some of the activities and events that will take place at the Love Blooms Here Plaza include a Farmers Market, a Holiday Market, Sip and Paint sessions, Storytelling and Literacy programs, gardening workshops, and mental health day meetings.