Friday, April 27, 2018


(Peoria, IL) On Friday April 27 and Saturday, April 28 the City of Peoria Innovation Team will host an exhibition of design ideas for West Main Street developed by students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Architecture during a spring studio course.  The exhibition is part of Help Shape West Main, a public engagement effort to improve the vitality of the West Main Street corridor through community-driven projects.  

University of Illinois Extension and Professor Sara Bartumeus’ graduate architectural design studio students from U of I have been working alongside this public engagement effort to assist in developing and visualizing small scale interventions that could improve the West Main corridor, which residents will be able to see and weigh in on. 

The Peoria i-team launched Help Shape West Main last fall in partnership with the West Main Merchants Association and the Renaissance Park Community Association. The effort is part of the i-team’s work in neighborhood centers and commercial corridors in the heart of the city that aims to build community and empower residents and business owners to take a more active role in shaping the future of the places where they live, work and play.  These community-driven efforts use simple, short-term, low-cost, and scalable interventions to catalyze long-term change through incremental improvements in economic vitality and quality of place. The process encourages citizens of all backgrounds to work together to test and refine ideas on the ground.  

On Friday, April 27 from 4- 6 p.m. there will be an Open House Exhibition at Studios on Sheridan, will feature design work for West Main Street by University of Illinois School of Architecture Students.  

On Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. there will be a series of interactive installations of design work along West Main Street by University of Illinois School of Architecture Students.  

The connection between the city and the university, facilitated by University of Illinois Extension, demonstrates the benefits for both students and community members when they engage in complex issues together. “The students gain so much from these interactions. They talk to people from all walks of life – neighborhood residents, local engineers and architects – people they don’t usually hear from as a part of their classwork,” says Brown. “I think that’s the piece where Extension can enrich the campus experience in so many ways, because of this collaborative engagement with the community.” 

If you have any questions about the “ReImagine West Main” exhibition, please contact: 

Anthony Corso  
City of Peoria Chief Innovation Officer  
Kathleen Brown 
University of Illinois Extension