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Uptown’s Clarendon Park Community Center is getting a $14.8M makeover

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The project will spare the 103-year-old building from the wrecking ball

A brick building with a large entrance and columns supporting a low, flat metal roof. There is outdoor cafe-style seating outside.
A rendering of the restored building and new lobby space.
William Architects/Chicago Park District

After years of hosting community meetings and collecting feedback, the Chicago Park District has finalized its plans to renovate—not demolish—Uptown’s Clarendon Park Community Center, Alderman James Cappleman announced Friday in an email to 46th Ward residents.

Constructed in 1916 by city architect C.W. Kallal in the Mediterranean revival style, the lakefront building has certainly seen better days. A 1972 remodel removed many of the structure’s more distinctive architectural features such as its entry colonnade and rooftop towers, but arguably more damage has been sustained due to its leaking roof.

The proposed renovation, envisioned by William Architects, aims to address water infiltration as well as construct a new lobby, remodel recreational spaces, and make the whole building ADA compliant. The city expects the first phase to cost roughly $6.4 million, followed by an $8.4 million second phase.

Funding for the project will, in part, come from the Clarendon/Montrose Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) District, which will contribute $4.6 million to the Chicago Park District to use at the North Side site. The Park District will fundraise the remainder of the cost, according to Cappleman’s office.

In addition to a slideshow containing renderings of the Uptown project, the alderman also emailed residents a fly-through animation of the completed Clarendon Park Community Center renovation.