University of Chicago Midway Crossings
The University of Chicago’s Midway Crossings project is part of an ongoing partnership with the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District to activate the Midway Plaisance, a historic, mile-long, 80-acre open space originally designed in 1870 by the celebrated landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted. The goal of this project, as a part of the larger Midway Plaisance Master Plan, is to revive the unique green-space as a front yard and park instead of a perceived barrier.
While the Midway Plaisance was originally planned to be a grandly scaled boulevard and boat-canal connecting the nearby lagoons in Washington Park and Jackson Park, it has remained a grassy recreational area that interrupts the University Campus as well as the neighboring communities of Hyde Park and Woodlawn.
The design of this project offers a solution of dramatic Symbolic Bridges. While not true bridges, as originally envisioned by Olmsted, they nevertheless serve as a series of landscaped interventions resembling bridges at Ellis Avenue and Woodlawn Avenue. They create important north-south connections between 59th and 60th Streets across the Midway Plaisance, enhance pedestrian safety and circulation and create a stronger sense of identity within the campus and the surrounding communities.
The winning project team consists of University of Chicago, BauerLatoza Studio, James Carpenter Design Associates, Schuler Shook, Matrix Engineering Corporation, DB Sterlin Consultants, and DuSable Engineering. Bulley & Andrews is the General Contractor.
- Client: The University of Chicago
- Project Address: The crossings of the Midway at Ellis, Woodlawn, and Dorchester Avenues, Chicago, Illinois
- Project Size: 1,900 feet (length)
- Construction Cost: $10 million
- Services Provided: Programming, Design Documents, Construction Documents, Landscape and Site Design, Construction Administration