Highland Park, News

A Lot to Like: 2 concepts for Highland Park event space ready for resident input

View concepts at City Hall or online

With dropping December temperatures, outdoor entertainment may not interest you at the moment. But an exhibit at Highland Park City Hall may put you in the mood.

Through Jan. 19, the latest concepts for development of The Lot, a reimagined outdoor event space in Highland Park, are on display and encouraging resident input.

Earlier this year, the City of Highland Park began exploring options to renovate The Lot and turn it from a circumstantial success into a permanent community space. The City Council contracted Lakota Group to begin evaluating the idea and over the summer, the firm presented its initial set of ideas.

An idea for an event lawn at The Lot.

Based on the feedback of residents and officials, the ideas were honed into two concepts, each with unique elements, and the City wants you to guide its next move.

“We understand the value of the experiences you’ve had at The Lot, from bustling markets to vibrant events, and we’ve taken those factors into consideration in crafting these designs,” says a City webpage dedicated to the concepts. It also adds, “Our goal is to ensure that the revitalization of this space not only preserves the essence of what makes it special but also elevates its potential to new heights.”

Located at Central and St. Johns, The Lot has become a destination for local events and outdoor dining since its first season in 2022. In its inaugural season, The Lot hosted 17 events: two large-scale two-day events, six mid-scale one-day events and nine smaller-scale weekly events.

This past season, it hosted even more events, including the Taste of Highland Park (June 23-24) and the Vintage Market (Oct. 8).

The final concepts for The Lot include features like a pavilion and event lawn, outdoor dining space, shade structures, tree grove, sculpture garden and fountain. Not all elements will be included in the final design, which officials hope to construct from resident’s preference between the two conceptual layouts.

According to the City, “Information obtained from this round of community engagement will be presented to the public and City Council during the first quarter of 2024.”

Feedback can be submitted at City Hall through Jan. 19 or through an online survey.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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