Historic Drexel Boulevard is part of the City of Chicago’s Boulevard System. The boulevard system covers approximately 28 miles and contains approximately 540 acres of greenspace. The Boulevards link together many inland parks as well as parks along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
Drexel Boulevard is truly a unique Chicago treasure. On the National Register of Historic Places, the original design was done by Landscape Architecture firm Fredrick Law Olmstead, and the designer was Calvert Vaux who also designed Central Park in New York. The boulevard consists of a wide park area with lush foliage, meandering paths, and dramatic planting beds.
Civiltech, as part of the C*NECT team, provided design and construction management services to the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) to upgrade the failing asphalt paths to a more permanent concrete sidewalk. CDOT and C*NECT studied the previous path locations, and the work was designed to replicate the original intent and location of the paths.
Work included upgrading sidewalks to be ADA compliant with current accessible design standards and adding additional entries into the boulevard park. The project increases accessibility with ADA ramps at intersections allowing pedestrian travel through the entire length of the boulevard without having to exit and re-enter. Access at 49th Street includes a raised crosswalk through the middle of the intersection.
Landscape areas had been left in disrepair or turfed over. CDOT Landscape Architect, Kris Sorich, designed nine landscaped areas in their historic locations. Additional improvements included installing irrigation systems and the installation of new trees.
Completed in November of 2022, Civiltech is grateful to have been part of this historically significant project.