3rd Place | Grocery Garden – A Bodega for North Lawndale by Rosina Iniguez, Ian Hudson, and Jason Hart

Grade: 11th and 12th

The project reimagines a site comprised of three vacant lots in the North Lawndale neighborhood. After performing a Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats analysis, we determined that this neighborhood could use a place that provides healthy food, a safe place to hang out, and a landmark that would be recognizable to residents and improve the neighborhood’s reputation. We also saw an opportunity for the built environment to improve public health outcomes.

Our project, the Grocery Garden, proposes a new bodega on this vacant site at W. 15th Street and Kedzie Avenue. Our aim is to provide a recognizable landmark with accessible and safe public space that alleviates the food desert and plays a positive role in community life. The bodega is a small grocery store, offering healthy food options for residents. We included a community garden against W. 15th Street, allowing residents to grow their own produce and gather. This allows the bodega to offer educational programs and for residents to see where their food comes from. The bodega also offers educational and training spaces for trades-based jobs, such as a training kitchen and multi-purpose educational spaces for workshops and training. The sustainable features of the bodega, including a sloping green roof and self-shading glass, reduce energy consumption and surface water runoff. These features will improve public health and improve the quality of the neighborhood. The bodega’s colorful facade and height ensure that it will become a neighborhood landmark, becoming a destination for residents and enhancing the public life of North Lawndale.

Project Team: Rosina Iniguez (12th Grade, Muchin College Prep), Ian Hudson (11th Grade, Jones College Prep), and Jason Hart (11th Grade, Jones College Prep)