When the City of Chicago launched its $1 lot program—Large Lots—in 2014, the plan was met with optimism, opportunity, and creativity. It would become a way for the city to empower its citizens to transform neighborhoods. Over the past year, it has done just that, culminating most recently in a free public sculpture garden created by activist artist Theaster Gates in Grand Crossing. As reported by the Chicago Architecture Blog, Gates has entered a lease agreement with Chicago for the parcel at 1245 East 72nd Place, which will be his to lease in perpetuity for $1. Gates has made a name for himself as one of south side Chicago's main artistic proponents.
In a recent TED Talk he speaks on his work on the South Side, hoping to create community centers and invigorated creative activities that can revitalize neighborhoods from the ground up. In addition to his Grand Crossing project, Gates' work will be installed at the new 95th Street CTA Station, and he also has another $1 deal with the city for a pavilion/performance venue at 265 East Garfield Boulevard.
— Benjamin van Loon
·Theaster Gates to Open Free Public Sculpture Garden in Grand Crossing [Chicago Architecture Blog]
·Here's How to Buy a City-Owned Lot in Englewood for Only $1 [Curbed Chicago]
·Theaster Gates archives [Curbed Chicago]