The West Town Dreams of Renaissance Plaza

By Michael Romain

This is the second installment in the newest section of the site, which we’re calling, “Maywood Re-Imagined.” Every week, we’ll take certain parts of Maywood and virtually revitalize them through digital manipulation, so residents can see the town’s infinite possibilities and hopefully start making Maywood their canvas. If you have any ideas, email them, or post them via comment, and we’ll try our best to transform your imaginative words into a neat (albeit a bit crude) visualization.

Here’s a sneak peek of my interview with President/CEO of Operation Uplift, Inc., Mrs. Northica Stone, and the curator of the West Town Historical Museum, Mrs. Jeri Stenson. Mrs. Stone said that she was notified that her organization’s location at the corner of 5th Avenue and St. Charles Road may qualify her for Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds that are part of a revitalization project the Village may have in the works.

“Now if the TIF money becomes a reality, we’re going to hopefully be able to recreate on the side of our building some of the things that were here in the early Maywood,” Stone said. She imagines historical facades facing neat landscaping and a road of original cobblestone bricks that dates back to the Village’s vintage past. Patrons would be able to walk this road while reflecting on the town’s structural history, which includes a hospital and a streetcar that used to run all the way up to Madison Street in Chicago. The finished project would be called Renaissance Plaza.

I’ve tried capturing Mrs. Stones vision in a rough digital rendering. This may or may not be along the lines of what’s in her head, but it was worth giving it a shot:

The side of West Town/Operation Uplift as it looks today (before):

Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 8.32.37 PM

Its possible future (after):

Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 9.53.59 PM

 

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