Oakwood Shores Earns FitzGerald Associates CNU Charter Award

Chicago, Ill. – FitzGerald Associates Architects has been named one of 15 recipients of the 2008 Charter Award by the Congress for the New Urbanism for the Oakwood Shores Phase I housing development. According to the CNU’s website, “CNU’s Charter Awards recognize projects across the world that best embody and advance the principles of the Charter of the New Urbanism. As selected by a jury of leading urbanists, honorees set the gold standard for urban design and development and serve as powerful examples for future development.”

This year’s awarded projects are located across the United States as well as the Bahamas, India, Saudi Arabia, and Scotland. Many of these projects, including Oakwood Shores, directly address quality affordable housing design and well-executed, innovative housing types.

“We’re honored to be selected among only 15 firms nationwide to be recognized for their contribution to the planning and construction of neighborhoods,” said Patrick FitzGerald, managing principal. “This has long been an area of great interest to our firm and we have assembled an outstanding and talented interdisciplinary staff to continue this important work into the future. I’m pleased that our firm is part of a movement by architects to look beyond the design and construction of buildings to the interaction of these buildings and the creation of high quality public environments.”

Principal-in-Charge for the project, Richard Whitney, went on to say that Oakwood Shores “marks a turning point for public housing; creating a new mixed-income community where people of all ages and backgrounds can come together to live, work and play that includes low-income, affordable and market-rate housing units—each unrecognizable from the others, to create a cohesive community with residential and commercial uses that was not present before.”

Built on the former site of the Madden Park, Wells and Darrow Homes, Oakwood Shores is the redevelopment of land owned by the Chicago Housing Authority to replace public housing buildings as part of the CHA’s Plan for Transformation initiative. Located in Chicago’s Mid-South/Bronzeville neighborhood only blocks from Lake Michigan, the site includes both rental and for-sale units housed in a variety of building types including six- and nine-flat buildings, townhouses, rowhouses and single-family homes.

The project’s design was guided in great part by the community’s Working Group, 4th Ward Alderman Toni Preckwinkle, the Chicago Housing Authority, several City of Chicago agencies, neighborhood group leaders, and CHA residents.

“This group met frequently with the development team to review the progress of the design work and provide essential feedback on the plan. Their input was, and continues to be, critical to the success of this new community,” Whitney continued.

For more information on this honor, visit