The Damen Silos riverside property could, and should, serve the people of Chicago, enhancing opportunities for recreation, and for appreciation of our urban heritage.
On Thursday, February 1, 2024, AIA Chicago Vice President of Advocacy, Natalie Hicks, AIA, spoke in support of the preservation and reuse of the Damen Silos property at 2900 South Damen Avenue in Chicago. Read the full statement below.
Coverage of this story was picked up by numerous news outlets, including CBS News, Chicago. Natalie Hicks, AIA, was quoted in an article by McKinley Park News.
To the Army Corps of Engineers:
I am Natalie Hicks, vice president for advocacy on the AIA Chicago board of directors.
AIA Chicago, the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects, supports the findings and suggestions of the McKinley Park Development Council regarding the property, commonly known as the Damen Silos, at 2900 South Damen Avenue. We appreciate this opportunity to be on the record as supporting the preservation and reuse of the Damen Silos property.
AIA Chicago, which has membership of approximately 4,000 architects and related professionals who design and build in Chicago, strongly believes that this riverside property could and should serve the people of Chicago, enhancing opportunities for recreation, and for appreciation of our urban heritage.
The Chicago River, especially its South Branch, was a largely industrial zone at one time in Chicago’s history. Today, there are opportunities to redevelop sections of the Chicago River for shared uses, to enhance the quality of the city’s water and air, as well as the wellbeing of residents.
The Damen Silos site offers so much potential to all of us as Chicagoans, in particular to the adjacent communities, but also to the entire city – a place to which all of us are committed.
So many cities have repurposed similar site and turned them into economic generators through adaptive reuse of existing structures, where possible, and creation
Since 2022, AIA Chicago has advocated for an innovative approach to repurposing this site. Our members are creative shapers of places and spaces. AIA Chicago and its members are ready to help make this site the innovative asset it could and should be.