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Futuristic JGMA-designed medical center headed to Brighton Park

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The new Esperanza Health Center recently broke ground


A new two-story community health and wellness facility is on its way to Chicago’s Brighton Park neighborhood. Known as the Esperanza Health Center, the colorful project replaces a vacant lot at the southwest corner of 47th Street and California Avenue and will serve residents from neighboring Gage Park, Back of the Yards, and Archer Heights.

With its name translating to “hope” in Spanish, Esperanza will provide vital health services from a bilingual and culturally diverse staff in an otherwise underserved area of the city. In addition to much-needed primary care facilities, the project will take a community-based approach towards wellness and prevention.

The angular, JGMA-designed structure meets the corner with a large and inviting lobby. Its first floor will house a neighborhood pharmacy as well as offices for Mujeres Latinas en Accion—a nonprofit group focusing on youth services and domestic violence.

The brightly-colored facility will also contain multi-purpose communal spaces to host wellness-related educational programs such as lectures and healthy cooking classes. The surrounding streetscape will be improved with pedestrian pathways, community gardens, and a new parking lot behind the building.


“For us, this represents a continuation of a long line of projects where we’re challenging paradigms in architecture in our communities of color,” said JGMA founder and president Juan Gabriel Moreno in a statement.

Moreno is no stranger to creating socially conscious projects in underserved areas. His Chicago-based firm recently completed the adaptive reuse of a shuttered Waukegan Kmart into a new campus for Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep.

Following a ceremonial groundbreaking last week, Brighton Park’s new Esperanza Health Center is on track for a February 2019 completion. Meanwhile, work is also underway on a JGMA-designed early childhood facility at nearby 4255 S. Archer Avenue. Known as the Gads Hill Center, the non-profit project is eyeing occupancy in late 2018.