Bethel Commercial Center
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.