CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel, joined by Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and Chicago Public Library (CPL), announced the beginning of construction on three co-located housing and library developments being built across the city.
“My view is what we’re breaking ground on is community,” Emanuel said Sunday. “When we unite the strengths of our neighborhood libraries with great housing that is affordable and accessible, it is truly the best of both worlds.”
The mayor said the Roosevelt Branch Library, being built at the base of the new Taylor Street Apartments, will bring all types of people together.
Along with what the city calls “world-class designs,” the project will bring a total of 73 apartments, including 37 CHA units, 29 affordable units and seven market rate units.
“I guarantee you one thing, people from around the country and around the globe will come see what’s happening right here in this neighborhood and the other parts of the city,” Emanuel said. “Chicago is breaking the mold of what world-class libraries and housing can look like, and staying at the cutting edge of creating shared spaces that bring communities together.”
Last summer, more than 500 residents signed a petition asking city officials to reconsider the project, which they fear will lead to more crime in the area.
The housing and library developments were designed by three architecture and design firms, which were selected following a design competition sponsored by the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development. The competition was part of Mayor Emanuel’s vision to break away from the “cookie-cutter” designs that are common to government buildings.
Similar construction is also getting underway at the North Town and Independence libraries in the West Ridge and Irving Park communities.