Two new Chicago Public Library branches with apartments opened on Tuesday in Irving Park and Little Italy. The community-focused projects have a combination of affordable and senior housing.
The two completed library and housing projects are the first of three which are designed to renew and improve neighborhoods. Each library offers programs tailored to all residents, and some services include early learning play space, a digital media space for teens, tutors, job search help, book clubs, and educational and cultural programming.
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Over at 1336 W. Taylor Street, the Taylor Street Apartments and Little Italy Branch Library was designed by the Chicago firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The ground-floor library features tons of natural light, a landscaped outdoor reading area, and a YOUmedia space. The 73 apartments have floor-to-ceiling windows with open floorplans and shared spaces on each floor to foster a sense of community. The housing will comprise 29 affordable apartments, 37 CHA units, and 7 market-rate units.