Location: Chicago, Illinois
The Pulaski Road streetscape enhancement project in the Chicago neighborhood of Albany Park encompassed both a structural and aesthetic upgrade. A new Pulaski Road Thai Cultural Center inspired the development of this four block streetscape improvement. Jacobs/Ryan Associates provided landscape architectural design services for tree plantings, light pole identifiers, free-standing gateway identity monuments, and street print paving patterns in the crosswalks. Sustainable features included Unilock Eco-Priora 5×10 autumn red concrete permeable pavers in parkways and oversize tree pits. Through a series of meetings with the Chicago Department of Transportation and other community stakeholders, themes were developed which could relate to both the cultural building and the community at large. The streetscape improvements are a result of a water main replacement project which replaced old service pipes that dated back to 1897.
Included in the renovation schemes were new curbs and gutters, widened sidewalks with more accessible wheelchair ramps, permeable pavers, and 40 new shade trees. Decorative benches, trash receptacles, and bike racks also add to the new streetscape décor.
Local authorities wanted to create a more ambient pedestrian and neighborhood experience along the retail corridor, which was devoid of any street trees, in order to create an identity compatible with the new cultural center. “While many themes were considered – such as flames, elephants, fabric patterns – custom mystical birds and lotus flower patterns were designed using traditional Thai colors,” describes landscape architect Adam White of Jacobs/Ryan Associates. The chosen set of themed furnishings were developed, documented and turned into a biddable set of drawings and specifications for bidding of the hardscape and planting, along with the engineering improvements to be made.
Sumit Construction carried out the installation, and were very pleased with the StrataCell’s ease of assembly. “The system is extremely modular and great for working around utilities,” explained one of the installers at Sumit Construction.
Utilized in this project were StrataCell structural support modules to provide enough soil mass for the trees not only survive but thrive, and ReRoot root barriers to keep the tree roots in designated rooting areas and away from utilities and paved surfaces.