8261 S. Brandon Avenue, b.1890 — 7th Ward — TIF-93Just saved from a live order of demolition that it had had upon its head Bench W is being repurposed to serve the veterans and liberty defenders of the region. As such the goal is for getting active storytellers from the veterans’ services, along with children and parents, all interacting and leaving with a better understanding of what battles are worth fighting for. Special attention with be to help all at the Bench discover how freedoms come from one dedicated work and sacrifice, and from caring for one another as they would themselves.
The front exhibition room of this former pharmacy building could be for displays and exhibit items of military life from SE Chicago. The Bench’s back (east) community room could be for sitting down for meals, hospitality, and instruction–where impacted lives could be shared and fed.
An elevator would be needed for this building that could go from the 1st floor up to the 3rd floor through where the 2nd floor’s east closet rooms are present today.
As with all of LHI’s exteriors and interiors for their building the goal is to go back to the original look it had had at its inception. To note: The Bench building is within the South Chicago TIF/SBIF zone for LHI to apply for funding, as LHI had with its Frontier Q.
The second floor could be available a veteran being able to reside there and manage the Bench. It could also showcase how vets lived in times gone during various deployment times they’d served. The kitchen, dining and parlor rooms on this floor could likewise be available for multi-other groups meeting there during the day.
The third floor could have a meeting and large display room built, as well as a community room at its west end. An enclosed outdoor patio deck above the Bench’s east end first floor community room could be built and made accessible via the second floor’s back porch area, for veterans to offer presentations and build support fellowship.
LHI hopes the first floor’s east community room, which an accessible enclosed east yard to the east property line, would allow some to teach others types of skilled trades, for veterans to learn and thereby put into use through projects LHI is doing or has learned about from others in the community. From such initiative, and in sharing their stories and the drive it takes to keep at it, others in the community who might be from dysfunction or troubled homes, in listening and sharing a meal with these veterans, can develop a better attitude and disposition in life.
To be solvent the Exhibition Hall and upstairs display rooms would have an entry fee for non-veteran/LHI patrons. What is of importance in this interactive home is for vets to feel they can share their stories, feel all’s appreciated and preserved, and realize they are assisting LHI, sister cities vets and families, and LHI countries who may have been at war against ours sometime before. Special emphasis on POW, MIA and PTSD stories and conditions could help bring out how one might still be fighting for their liberty and peace today, and how communities learning and sharing together heal lives and bring forth new leaders, better decisions, in a defender St. Michael the Archangel.