Arts Block Master Plan

Building off the success of the Garfield Park Arts Incubator, The University of Chicago engaged SCB to develop a plan for the surrounding district, including an Arts Block along Garfield Boulevard in the Washington Park neighborhood.


University of Chicago


Chicago, IL


Architecture /
Campus Environments /
Campus Life /
Planning and Urban Design /
Planning + Strategies /
Campus Environments /

With the goal of creating an arts, culture, and community-focused district, this project is an active partnership between the University’s Arts and Public Life Initiative and Office of Civic Engagement, neighborhood stakeholders, the City of Chicago, and the greater Chicago cultural community.

Stakeholders Involved


2017 APA Illinois Strategic Plan Award

Adjacent to the CTA Green Line Garfield Park station and accessible to several major bus routes, the project encompasses over 100,000 SF of new and adaptive re-use development and includes a new black box theater, gallery spaces, retail, restaurants, music and dance venues, innovative maker spaces, and community gathering places. The Arts Block is envisioned as a vibrant destination for arts and culture organizations, independent businesses, civic programs, and other partner groups across the city to participate in community life. The Arts Block will be home to a unique mix of small neighborhood arts groups as well as world class cultural institutions seeking to engage with South Side audiences.