Devon Avenue Seating Spaces
2539 W Devon Ave. Chicago, IL 60659
Along a six block stretch of Devon Avenue benches invite residents and visitors to stop and linger. These six blocks are some of the most well-travelled of Devon Avenue, between Talman and Artesian. The benches are part of an ever-present campaign to make the street attractive to shoppers and, secondarily to residents. Yet another set of public works projects aimed at improving the commercial experience began in the spring of 2014. The sidewalk will be widened and side street seating will gain potted plants and metal screens. However, in contrast to baseball fields, if you build the bench, they will not necessarily come.
The seating is used in a variety of ways, by residents and visitors. Potted plants seem to be less of a determinant of bench popularity than the number of benches arrayed around the intersection and the character of the side street immediately adjacent to the bench. All the benches are clearly on the side street, slightly off of the path of the Devon Avenue sidewalk. The surroundings provide varying degrees of privacy, from open nearly unvegetated spaces, to spaces with a dense backdrop of street trees. Benches occupy one or all of the corners of a given intersection; an occupied bench begets bench occupation on other corners.
A nearly full house Devon and Campbell, 2014
Photo Credit: Cynthia Anderson