by Carlie Douglas
Good architecture in typically bad neighbourhoods: The Gary Comer Youth Centre in Park Manor, Chicago, Illinois. The Park Manor neighbourhood is not typically an area that one would venture into willingly. Located on the South Side of Chicago, this area is still run down and fairly unsafe according to crime statistics. When the design of the Gary Comer Youth Centre (GCYC) began, many people were concerned with making a building that was safe from the surrounding community. This, however, is in direct conflict with the purpose of the building; to be FOR the community. The GCYC is a beautiful building that has instilled a sense of pride in the local community. Instead of tearing it apart, as some said would happen, the community has taken ownership of the structure. Today, the GCYC is home to the South Shore Drill Team, hosts events, and runs four programmes that benefit the youth of the community in furthering education, leadership, physical fitness, and cultural arts. This building is a wonderful example of architecture for the community.