Accesso Outdoor Park 200-230 W. Monroe EGD
Accesso – the owner of 200 W. Monroe and 230 W. Monroe in Chicago – saw potential in the small alley between the two buildings. The company was looking for a way to turn that space into something more than a place for bike racks and trash cans.
Several small restaurants nearby frequently attracted passersby, so Accesso wanted to improve curb appeal and provide an outdoor area for employees and passersby to mingle, but needed help making the idea a reality.
By creating a pocket park that is accessible to the general public, Shive-Hattery turned the alleyway into a usable outdoor space with ample seating, lighting, and shelter from the weather.
Located in the alley is a utility stairwell that couldn’t be moved or repositioned. For safety reasons, the stairwell had a railing, but it didn’t mesh well with look of the pocket park. To turn the railing into a statement piece, Shive-Hattery created a 20-foot wrap around the stairway to replace the railing and provide a local, urban-art feel while still protecting against safety issues.
Using the existing artwork from the 200 W. Monroe and 230 W. Monroe lobbies as inspiration, an abstract rendering of a Chicago overhead street map was created for the 20-foot wrap using simple dark blue and white colors that complement the red and white shades used on the outdoor furniture and canopies.
Specific blocks on the map are highlighted based on local-interest areas and landmarks. The piece is perforated to withstand wind gusts, and made of durable materials to protect against vandalism.
By transforming a dark, unused alley into a small, cheerful pocket park, and opening it up to the public, employees and passersby now have a comfortable outdoor environment for breaks, lunch hours, or mingling – and even a safe place to shelter during a sudden rainstorm.