The Good City Group is a salon-style urban design group of architects, industrial designers, urban planners, design strategists, IT professionals and policymakers from diverse practice areas dedicated to healthy, sustainable cities.
In the historic center of Jefferson Park,near the restaurants and bars, close to the bank, the Congregational Church, Masonic Lodge, and Park District Field House, one can also find three very strong cultural landmarks, reminders of the cultural life that has existed since the first settlers arrived in Jefferson Park. The Copernicus Center occupies what used to be the Gateway Theater, built in 1930 to show the first talking movies and with a reputation for the best acoustics in the city. The Gift Theater on Milwaukee and Lawrence presents thought-provoking productions and the Paschke Center not only celebrates the painted work of the late Ed Paschke, but also provides resources for the creative awakening of the whole community. All three institutions pride themselves on fostering neighborhood culture and a sense of ownership. Taste of Polonia at Copernicus, a public plaza at the Paschke Center and after school activities at the Gift Theater collaborate with the musical events that the Chamber of Commerce commissions for the Festivals and Farmers Market to provide a diverse cultural life. Tradition and avant-garde come together to give Jefferson Park a very unique artistic voice.
In 2015 the Paschke Center collaborated with the Zhou B. Art Center to create a multi-venue, multi-disciplinary exhibit. Journey to Art: Ed Paschke was installed in the Zhou Brothers Bridgeport Center while, in Jefferson Park, the Ed Paschke Art Center welcomed Journey to Art: Zhou Brothers. The Zhou Brothers' colossal sculptures installed adjacent to the Paschke, using the Ed Paschke inspired mural as a background, created an inviting public space for the users of the neighboring Jefferson Park Field House.
For the 2016 Jeff Fest, the Chamber of Commerce commissioned an installation from the Good City Group to signal the event all the way from Milwaukee Avenue and the Jefferson Park station. Working with the Chamber and with the Northwest Chicago Historical Society, the Good City Group created a collage of historical images reminding people of the role history took in shaping our city.