Neighborhood Voices: Celebrate South Shore (special public tour)

Take a Tour led By Community Docents
Sat, 20 Aug, 2011 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM

The first public tour of our new community docent program, Neighborhood Voices, is scheduled to depart on August 20th. The tours coincide with a summer festival taking place in the community.

The Neighborhood Voices tour program is bringing CAF to neighborhoods across the city to empower residents and leaders to tell the story of their communities. In 2011, we trained residents in Bronzeville, South Shore and Chatham to conduct these tours.

Please join us in celebrating these public tours and experience the South Shore community.

Public tours will take place on Saturday, August 20th, and depart in South Shore at 1813 E. 71st Street. The tour departure point is just steps from the Metra. If you drive, street parking is available but may be limited due to the street festival.

Tour times:
2:00 – public tour
4:00 – public tour

To reserve a spot on the trolley, please RSVP to southshorechamberinc(at)
Location: 1813 E. 71st Street, Chicago, IL (Map)
Fees: Free

“For Distinctly South Shore”

An Exploration of Public Space

South Shore Chamber Inc. and the Chicago Architecture Foundation are highlighting the ‘Distinct taste’ in South Shore by using artists to show the potential of the community.


Building facades and vacant property are generally considered private spaces. Yet, the public’s experience of a neighborhood is defined by the visual and functional exchange that occurs between building facades and the streets. When a neighborhood has an agglomeration of blank, featureless facades, the public experiences that neighborhood as dull and blighted and people move away from decaying space. The South Shore community suffers from a plethora of empty store fronts. These bare surfaces create a public environment with significant potential for visual enhancement. In an effort to improve the community visual perception the South Shore chamber and the Chicago Architecture Foundation is sponsoring an invited competition entitled “Distinctly South Shore“ . Our goal is to transform the blank surfaces of our community from a liability into an asset, by sponsoring creative interventions that redefine the public experience of the neighborhood

The Opportunity

A partnership between the South Shore Chamber and the Chicago Architecture Foundation is seeking proposals from local artists for a community-wide creative intervention that fundamentally changes the visual perception of the South Shore community activating its blank surfaces and leftover spaces both during the day and at night. Using a medium or mediums of their choosing, we are opening up the entire community as a prospective canvas and asking artists to think of its building walls, store front windows and other prospective sites, as “public space” in need of activation. We are not addressing a specific theme, rather, looking for artists whose work maximizes the available sites and create a bold impact on the street. Through this process, we hope to generate transformative ideas about ways to introduce visual interest, curiosity and delight in urban areas where it is otherwise completely absent.


The South Shore Chamber Inc. and the Chicago Architecture Foundation will identify properties in the South Shore community that feature vacant and operative storefronts.

Property owners will be encouraged to participate by involving them in the property taskforce and showing them the advantage it brings to the community through total participation.

Working with local architects and urban planners, we will identify several locations along 71st Street from South Shore through Kimbark Avenue both side of the streets that would maximize the visibility of the art in the community. Through an RFP process, we will work with artists to create proposals to put their art in the space in a way that maximizes the use of the storefront. We will encourage the artists to work in teams to create engaging, 3 dimensional designs that highlight the potential of the South Shore community.

We will create a panel of judges that includes representatives from the South Shore Chamber, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, the building owners and esteemed members of the artistic community. The South Shore Chamber will work closely with the property owner throughout this process to ensure full inclusion.

District Tour

The development of the South Shore tour provides us with a tool to acquaint property owners, artists and project participants with the assets of the community. Once the art installation is completed, tours will be scheduled during the run of the exhibition to help maximize the impact of new visitors to the neighborhood. It is possible that, as an extension of this project, a special 71st Street tour could be created to further highlight the assets of one of our community’s most vital commercial districts.