Mitzi Friedman Child Family Center

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Program: Childcare and Family Resource Center
Status: Complete, 2007
Selected Recognition: 2008 Chicago Building Congress, Merit Award

Mitzi Freidheim Englewood Child and Family Center was developed by Children’s Home and Aid Society of Illinois. The site is part of the commercial strip along West 63rd Street in the Englewood neighborhood. The Center is adjacent to residential neighborhoods on Hermitage and Paulina Avenues.

The 32,000 square foot facility responds to the need for cost effective “sustainable” materials.  The Center is viewed as a key element in the Cities continued redevelopment of the area and the Mayor’s Children’s Capital Development Program providing care for 217 children ages 6 weeks to 6 years.

The building is compact to allow for ample outdoor play yards on the tight site.  The height also responds to the scale of the 2 and 3 story buildings of the neighborhood.  The classrooms are organized around a central 2-story space that serves as an indoor play area. This indoor play area has a clerestory that allows natural light to filter through the building and main corridors. The glass exterior of the main stair provides a outlook onto 63rd street and a glimpse into the center for the community.  The building also serves the community through many family programs, provides GED and computer education classes and other social services.