WE ❤️ DESIGN. Tours, exhibits, programs and events about Chicago architecture. Formerly the Chicago Architecture Foundation.
Why does Chicago have 50 wards? Since 1923, the city has maintained this symbolic number of districts through fluctuations in its population, increases in its land area, periods of economic growth and depression and elaborate contortions of internal borders during successive waves of gerrymandering. In a city synonymous with pragmatism and realpolitik, the number 50 implies a fair share and even distribution. To live in Chicago is to expect no less and no more, more or less.
This proposal seeks to maintain this impression of equilibrium, while re-envisioning the 50th Ward as one that can grow or shrink as necessary. In periods of economic downturn, the city can absorb additional revenue from Lincolnwood, or Lake Forest, or communities even further north. During cheese shortages, the state of Wisconsin will supply municipal cheddar.
On some extreme occasions, Alderwoman Debra Silverstein could be the most powerful politician in the world. The 50th Ward will be a part that is greater than its whole.