POPGrove is a remarkable transformation of a vacant lot into a family-oriented public plaza in West Garfield Park. With a focus on enhancing community well-being, the final design encompasses a three-part layout featuring a shaded grove along the sidewalk, active and passive recreation spaces in the center, and a natural playscape in the rear yard.

The design concept for POPGrove revolves around creating a welcoming environment that caters to various family-oriented activities. The Front Porch is the shaded grove along the sidewalk that offers respite from the sun and provides a pleasant space for relaxation and socialization. This area serves as an inviting entrance to the plaza, enticing visitors to explore what lies beyond.

The park’s center, the living room, offers active and passive recreation spaces that provide physical and leisure opportunities. Including open lawns and seating areas promotes community engagement and fosters social interaction among park-goers. 

At the rear is the backyard, a natural playscape harmoniously blends with the surrounding greenery, providing a unique and interactive play area for children. Natural elements such as logs, boulders, and plants create an immersive environment that encourages imaginative play and exploration, fostering an appreciation for nature within an urban context.

​​​POPGrove is a shining example of how visionary design, community collaboration, and strategic planning can transform a vacant lot into a vibrant public space. With its three-part design, including a shaded grove, recreational spaces, and a natural playscape, this City of Chicago-owned lot in West Garfield Park has become a cherished gathering place for families and individuals of all ages. The success of this project showcases the power of thoughtful architecture in creating inclusive and engaging environments that contribute to the overall well-being of communities.


City of Chicago


Chicago, IL


6,250 SF


  • Landscape Architecture
  • Planning + Urban Design


2023 – ASLA IL Chapter, Honor Award