CHICAGO (CBS) — The coronavirus crisis and the need for social distancing has inspired a bold initiative on the city’s South Side.
As CBS 2’s Steven Graves reported, 75th Street in Chatham is being turned into a destination spot.
It is called a “boardwalk,” along the stretch of 75th Street between Indiana and Calumet avenues called Restaurant Row.
Bright green areas are sectioned off for the two short-block stretch. The boardwalk itself I made out of recycled plywood that had been put up due to recent civil unrest in the area.
The spaces that have been created are for dining, kids’ play areas, and art.
Saturday was the official kickoff with community leaders. Mayor Lori Lightfoot was present.
The goal is to bring more business to about 11 restaurants that have been affected by COVID-19 and damage from looting.
It is also intended to provide a safe space for people.
“I think we all recognize beauty when we see it and experience it, and to make it so tangible, I think that it induces pride in ourselves and in our community,” said Nedra Fears, executive director of the Greater Chatham Initiative.
The city and corporate donors funded the $250,000 project.
It is starting up as the annual “Dining on the 5” event on the 75th Street Restaurant Row ends, and they want to keep it going until the end of November.