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Reimagine: Transforming Vacant Institutional Buildings

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Last year, Chicago Public Schools closed more than 50 schools across the city. Now vacant, these behemoth buildings join countless factories and warehouses that have sat empty for decades. We know that vacant properties pose significant challenges to communities; they attract crime, depreciate local property values, burden local fire, police and building departments, are difficult to acquire, finance and rehabilitate and undermine quality of life for nearby residents. What we hear less often, though, are the stories of how they can also serve as a canvas for meeting new needs in communities.
How do we transform these vacant institutional buildings into community assets? Join the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) for a roundtable to learn how local practitioners have successfully engaged residents, acquired and rehabilitated vacant, institutional buildings and returned them to productive use. MPC will also share how we engaged Uptown stakeholders in developing a vision for a closed public school in the neighborhood.
Panelists include:
Margaret Haywood, Inspiration Corporation
Sarah White, Artspace
Debbie Dixon, Gorman & Company