Downtown Revitalization – Design Issues for the Bess Project

Friends of Downtown Glenview (FDG) is dedicated to creating a vital downtown, despite recent challenges, and the attractive redevelopment of the Bess site remains key to this mission. Design details will make a difference in the success of the project. The project as proposed below is slated for the Village Appearance Commission final review on June 24.

This is the last chance to address essential aspects of the design.

The approved plan with ground level parking results in a one dimensional “blank wall” along the prominent west side, as viewed from Glenview Road, the library and train station. The proposed mural or graphic elements potentially mitigate this effect.

While this approach has been used effectively in historic Main Street redevelopment areas, it would be a significant change for our Downtown appearance regulation.

Are we ready for similar artwork on other walls and buildings, with limited or no legal basis to regulate it?

Alternative Architectural Approaches

Other upscale communities and retail developments prefer to use architectural details such as canopies or shallow display window spaces to add interest.

Our FDG goal is to activate the streetscape to create a relationship between the building and pedestrians, using quality materials that preserve the scale and appearance on all facades.