This week, the Notre Dame School of Architecture, in partnership with the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte and the city of La Porte, is conducting a charrette — an intensive planning session where architects, citizens and others collaborate to develop a design or vision for a project — focusing on housing and regeneration in the downtown area of La Porte, Indiana, specifically the neighborhoods surrounding Lincolnway Avenue.
La Porte residents and local stakeholders attended an opening presentation on Monday (May 22). Community stakeholders are also invited to attend a presentation of preliminary proposals from 5:30 to 7 p.m. CDT today (May 23) and a final public presentation from 5:30 to 7 p.m. CDT Thursday (May 25), both at St. Peter’s Catholic Church School, 1101 Michigan Ave., La Porte, where they can learn more and provide feedback.
The charrette builds on information gathered from a series of meetings and listening sessions. Hosted by the School of Architecture, the informal meetings allow participants’ voices to be heard about the housing needs, concerns and issues in the downtown area directly from those community members who live and work there. Next, the team will focus on creating a vibrant public realm while addressing critical housing needs.
“We will formulate a vision and implementation strategy to encourage economic development downtown as well as to provide a catalyst for building critically needed housing,” said Marianne Cusato, director of the Housing and Community Regeneration Initiative. “The goal of this work is to regenerate the downtown without displacement of the existing residents, while also attracting new members of the community to La Porte.”
The Housing and Community Regeneration Initiative, a program within the School of Architecture, provides assistance to municipalities and nonprofit organizations to improve economic development by reimagining the built environment.
The work of the initiative targets immediate local impact as well as national and global influence through three interrelated activities: actionable projects, research and education. Faculty, students and collaborating professional teams carry out these activities under the leadership of the school’s dean, Stefanos Polyzoides, and Cusato.
Originally published by architecture.nd.edu on May 23, 2023.at