Edgeville Buzz

First Vision Of The New Andersonville Gathering Space Unveiled

Since first reporting on a new gathering space in Andersonville back in early December, area Aldermen held a meeting with residents on Saturday for the first time and revealed the initial vision of the project and asked for community input.

The main purpose is to create a gathering space on Catalpa between Clark and Ashland that will help anchor the Northern part of the Andersonville strip. The meeting, which was held by both Ald. Harry Osterman and Ald. Andre Vasquez, gave a first glimpse into what the street could look like when completed and collected community input to help guide them.

The one block section of Catalpa is a big open space with a large Walgreens parking lot to the south and and even bigger Jewel parking lot to the North. In between both lots is the proposed space which currently consists of a one lane road with diagonal parking spots and sidewalks to each side.

The initial plan for the project would keep the one-lane Catalpa and make use of the street’s parking spaces and sidewalks. Structural signage would lead to an area where people could sit and children play. Most importantly though, the street could be temporarily closed off in order to accommodate area events, performances and possibly the Andersonville Farmer’s Market.

“We have long been interested in improving the Clark and Catalpa area as a gateway to the north end of Andersonville,” said the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce’s Director Sara Dinges in a previous interview. “That would ensure that our whole 1.2 mile district stays in tact for its walkability and friendliness to pedestrians. There has been a long history of the local business community being engaged in improving that area and its future. With funding recently being earmarked by the State for the creation of a public space in Andersonville, it brought us back to the table of looking at Clark and Catalpa.”

The plan has been in the works for over a decade, but not until recently have funds been allocated. The money was included in the new State of Illinois budget but it is unclear how much was given to the project.

Future meeting regarding the gathering space are in the works.

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