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Trumbull School Redevelopment Proposals Announced

It has been a hot topic in Andersonville, what will become of the old Trumbull School at Ashland and Foster? As a result of rapid population growth in the area, the school opened to much acclaim in 1909. One of Chicago’s most famous Prairie style architects, Dwight D. Perkins, was commissioned to design the building. He is also known for Lane Tech High School and The Lincoln Park Zoo Lion House.

The American Institute of Architects gave Trumbull “top billing” for the Edgewater/Rogers Park neighborhoods, “Shorn of traditional ornament and showing the influence of the progressive Prairie School movement, this massive block has the power and purity of form that distinguishes Perkin’s work as Chicago Board of Education architect.  Towering and percussive, the walls roll from pier to pier, punctuated with deep vertical window reveals.”

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Chicago Development Partners Plan

Now we are finally learning of the plans presented by entities who would like to repurpose the space. The good news is none of them seem to involve a wrecking ball. There are nine proposals on the table: three schools, one residential building, and five mixed use buildings with residential and retail.  In the next several days, a working group will meet  to discuss which plans will go in front of the community. Once that is decided, a community meeting will be held where the chosen groups will be able to present their ideas.

So what would you like to see? The three schools who would like to take over the building are diverse indeed. The Waldorf school, who currently resides in Rogers Park, has grown in the last 20 years and seeks to use the building for their academic and artistic excellence. Raising private donations, The Chicago Jewish Dayschool would also like the chance to obtain the building for its growing population. Lastly, with an annual operating budget of 3.25 million a year, The Bancroft School wants to make Trumbull school their own to provide services for children with autism spectrum disorder and related challenges.

The other plans on the table call for residential or mixed use residential/commercial space. Regency Centers, Svigos developments, Cedar St., Gorman Comapany and Joseph Freed & Associates are all developers who want to turn the space into their own idea of the perfect urban oasis. All the proposals include unique living spaces for the Andersonville neighborhood.

One mixed use proposal however caught our eye because it clearly states that the building will fully maintain present form. That plan proposed by Chicago Development Partners (CDP) promises “Retention of the current building in its present form.” One of the most loved features of Trumbull is the gorgeous theatre located inside. CDP will renovate the auditorium to full glory and invite Chicago’s very own Timeline Theatre to occupy it.

The community will have its work cut out for it as it tries to save this historic building. To see all proposals in their entirety, go here.


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