Our mission has been to build a cohousing community within the city of Chicago. After several years of outreach, the response to the Bronzeville site we had identified has been limited in interest and energy. While we believe it is still worth considering, we encourage the new leadership to also consider other locations, as well as the possibility of rehabbing an existing building of perhaps 20 units or more. A site would need to be located near rapid transit and easily accessible to the Loop, and ideally be 1/2 acre or larger.
We envision a community of about 20 households which will share green space and a common house, with parking located at the edge of the site. The community will include units of various sizes to accommodate individuals, couples and families. As is typical of condominium associations, each household will own its residence as well as a share of the common area.
The common house will include a kitchen and dining area for common meals that members are free to participate in as they wish. Other facilities being considered for the common house include laundry facilities, children's playroom, workshop space, library, and indoor and outdoor space for neighbors to get together casually.
Early members will participate in the design of the community as a whole, including the common spaces and units. Kraus-Fitch Architects of Amherst, MA, conducted the first of three architectural workshops for Prairie Onion, focused on the proposed Bronzeville site, in Chicago in August of 2009. These workshops are designed to turn the members' ideas and priorities into concrete plans for the buildings and grounds.
The community will be:
- Affordable: The design will provide quality at reasonable prices; affordable choices will encourage economic diversity.
- Green: All site development will use the most progressive green technology possible within practical and financial constraints.
- Accessible: The design will accommodate people living with disabilities and help older residents to stay in the community as they age.
- Connected: Our cohousing community will be connected to the neighborhood, encouraging interactions between our residents and the larger community.
If this vision inspires you, please get in touch with us. We are very willing to collaborate with new leadership in any way we are able, to bring cohousing to Chicago. We look forward to contact with you. firstname.lastname@example.org