LocationUptownBuilt2022ClientNeighborspace, Uptown United

“The process that they provided was comprehensive and inclusive, and we’ve moved forward with a design that has full community support.”

- Justin Weidl, Uptown United Director of Neighborhood Services


Founded in 2009 by Uptown United and residents of the Uptown neighborhood, the Winthrop Family Historical Garden was created to celebrate the rich history of the 4600 block of north Winthrop Avenue. After an increasing demand for green space and healthy eating, the garden needed more planter beds to accommodate new members and a social gathering space for new programming. This demand also created an opportunity to highlight and honor the history of the site.


A partnership comprised of Uptown United, MKSK, Human Scale and community members has reimaged the Winthrop Garden with the following goals:

  • Create gathering spaces to host new programming such as outdoor markets
  • Create storage structures to store tools and materials, and act as concession stands
  • Increase the capacity of the garden by building elevated planter beds
  • Honor the history of the 4600 block of north Winthrop Avenue
  • Activate the alleyways and connect the spaces through artwork and color


In the 1930s and 1940s, the 4600 block of north Winthrop Avenue was one of the few, if not the only, areas where Black families were allowed to live in Uptown. During this time of legal segregation, this block became a home for southern families that were searching for a better life. Although only one resident from those decades remains, the result was a large extended family that still gathers and refers to themselves as the Winthrop Avenue Family. This rich history was the centerpiece during our design process, and lead to a design that will honor the history and struggle of those families.






  • New planter beds
  • ADA accessible walking surfaces covering the entire garden
  • Shipping containers for storage and concession stands
  • Wall mural created by local artist Mauricio Ramirez and community members
  • Signage that honors the history of the garden and block

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