8256 S. Houston Avenue, b.1885 — 7th WardThis three-story building is currently being remodeled and will be the heart to all LHI’s mentorship and training programs. As a former bakery built in 1885 the first floor’s ceilings have been returned to their original eleven feet height wherein discussions can now be led in both this and the building’s second floor gathering spaces.
Three separate rooms on the first floor will allow for breakout workshop sessions for child, parent and/or neighbor to explore more deeply what has been offered in the presentation and offer computer connections for going on-line to participate with Chicago’s 28 sister cities and beyond.
The second floor could provide both a one-on-one conference room and an organization room for LHI’s activities.
The third floor could offer up to four new innovation incubator rooms for those seeking to develop ideas they have, and to then also gather together as a group in the social area’s east end neighbor space. Various universities with their entrepreneurship outreach programs could use this third floor to mentor kids and parents with LHI.
The property’s three-car garage and middle yard could allow kids, parents and explorers who ride their bikes to the site(s) have a secure place to house their bikes, and be offered an enclosed, secured yard option for barbecuing and having an outdoor discussion gathering. This garage could house kayaks and skates for LHI trips.
This “bakeshop” facility, free and open to the public, could be where tours of the area get themselves organized from within the community and use their newly-trained abilities to offer walking and/or biking tours. This facility of volunteers sharing their services and gifts with others will model the benefits of community involvement in shaping others’ families and neighborhoods, as well as their own.
With international foods & cultures being a key to so many of Exploration Squares program there are hopes for remodel kitchens on both the first and second floors. Peoples and families invited to his home away from home will be invited to bring and share their own cuisine dishes for all participating within that day’s activity program.