Because there are so few retail enterprises in East St. Louis, residents must travel to the more affluent suburbs for many of their shopping needs. If more residents could buy their groceries in East St. Louis, it would feed the local economy.
Members of the Winstanley/Industry Park Neighborhood Organization decided that a local, open-air farmers market would promote small businesses within the city. Technical assistance for the market site improvements was provided by ESLARP.
This was an opportunity for true collaboration among students in the departments. They conducted separate studios with distinct objectives, but came together on a regular basis to resolve their differences and arrive at a common solution.
Planning students collected information on successful farmers markets in other communities. Working with WIPNO, they prepared a plan for establishment of the market and conducted a vendor training workshop which in turn made the market a more attractive and professional enterprise.
Architecture and Landscape Architecture students explored ways of adapting an abandoned commercial site for reuse as a market; the Architecture students designed and built affordable vendor stalls and repaired the marketplace's structures; the Landscape Architecture students prepared a site plan for vendor use and other activities, including seating and a performance stage.
Illinois Cooperative Extension Service staff assisted with site assessment and contract supervision.
The students and faculty met frequently to coordinate and revise their plans, before and after presentations to the sponsoring neighborhood organization.
During a single semester, from January to May, the site went from a state of disrepair, through conceptual design, to opening and operation.
President, Winstanley/Industry Park Neighborhood Organization
[1.07 M] "...the most important thing..."
Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
[1.27 M] "...the task of solving the problem..."
East St. Louis Resident
[0.54 M] "...education for the kids..."
Hon. Gordon Bush
Mayor of East St. Louis
[0.51 M] "...a new spirit in East St. Louis..."
Rep. Wyvetter Younge
D-East St. Louis
[0.51 M] "...insipiration and hope..."
Last updated on 7/22/2011