372 Emerson Park Project
This Architecture 372 studio is one of several academic studio or workshop courses in the School of Architecture, the Department of Landscape Architecture, and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning working on projects in East St. Louis, Illinois as part of an interdisciplinary effort called the East St. Louis Action Research Project (ESLARP). For several semesters this studios work has continued to do urban design and community planning for the Emerson Park neighborhood, an activity which began in 1989 by Professor Kenneth Reardon and his students in Urban and Regional Planning.
The studio serves the neighborhood through its not-for-profit community organization: Emerson Park Development Corporation (EPDC). Each semester, EPDC defines projects on which they want student assistance. Last semester (Fall 95) EPDC ask students to plan for a light rail station and collateral retail development. At that time, the light rail line was likely to be routed south of Emerson Park across interstate highway 64, a route favored by the Mayor of East St. Louis. At EPDCs request, U of I students developed proposals for a light rail route on the south edge of Emerson Park, in an area previously considered ideal for highway related commercial uses. Students presented their ideas to the EPDC leadership at the U of I campus and later at public meetings at East St. Louis City Hall. As a result of their presentations the Mayor announced his support of the Emerson Park route to include a safe and attractive station similar to the students designs.
The Bi-State Development Agency began planning for the new route and station with its professional consultants, STV/Booker. Near the end of the Fall Semester, STV/Booker provided the U of I with updated site and program information for use in the Spring Semester of 1996.
At EPDCs request, students in the Fall 96 studio also designed single family and multigenerational family houses for members of the community who played the role of "clients." As the semester drew to a close EPDC indicated that they would like to have the next group of students develop ideas for affordable housing based on the concepts of this previous work. They asked us to develop low-cost houses on a typical block in Emerson Park to include a defensible central green space. They expressed a preference for three-bedroom single family and duplex or intergenerational houses facing the street and the green space.
GOALS FOR THIS SEMESTER
Document author(s): Robert Selby, Jason Jarrett
HTML by: Jason Jarrett
Last modified: March 3, 1996
ARCH 372 Spring 1996
East St. Louis Action Research Project