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Bethel Commercial Center

Date: 2004

Client: Bethel New Life

Location: Chicago, Illinois

LEED Certification: LEED-NC Gold

Awards: 2004 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award: Architectural Excellence in Community Design

2006 Mayor Daley’s Greenworks Award

2010 ULI Global Award for Excellence

This mixed-use transit center arose from a long-term commitment to this low-income neighborhood located on the west side of Chicago by the Bethel New Life oraniza­tion. Their initial call to Farr Associates was about advocacy for saving the CTA’s Green Line train route, which was slated for demolition. We contributed a land use plan that helped save the train line and won the Community Appreciation Award from the Neighborhood Capital Budget Group.

From this spark, the partnership between Farr Associates and Bethel New Life resulted in a visionary Neighborhood Center plan that creates a walkable neigh­borhood anchored by a new park. As one part of this imaginative plan, we also designed a full transit center equipped with retail space, employment offices, and a daycare center. This facility will allow neighborhood residents to drop off and pick up children from daycare and get to and from work, all without the use of a car. Taking it one step further, we designed the building to achieve a LEED Gold rating.