This past Tuesday (August 9th), we had our 2nd photoshoot with Mark Ballogg of Ballogg Photography at Chicago's Park Plaza Senior Living Center – a project in which Epstein designed and engineered an expansion and renovation to this 180,000 square foot Modern Jewish Orthodox retirement facility located in Rogers Park. The purpose of this photographic visit was to capture interior views of Park Plaza's new lobby, the galleria as well as some additional shots of the synagogue and dusk exterior elevations showing the newly planted landscape.
Park Plaza, which was originally built in 1987, includes many amenities for social functions such as a beauty salon, library, and game room, as well as other facilities for physical therapy, and worship in an independent community. Originally, those amenities were spread throughout the building, and one of Epstein's tasks was to bring all of these amenities together on the ground floor to create a new renovated social area for all to gather. In addition to this, Epstein completely renovated the lobby including adding a water wall and aviary (FYI - those shots are still forthcoming) as well as designing new finishes for all of the ground floor model apartments.
The new lobby includes a prominent custom Epstein-designed desk as well as striking glass partition which serves as the security entrance into the Park Plaza. This glass wall also incorporates bold and stylized Hebrew words which are pronounced 'Dor L'dor' and when translated into English means – 'Generation to Generation.' A phrase which is a major component of Judaism – ie - passing along traditions, knowledge and experiences from one generation to the next.
One of the most exciting parts of our rehabilitation of the Park Plaza facility was the design of a new 3,600 square foot synagogue addition to the east of the existing building. This synagogue was designed to accommodate 70 worshippers on a daily basis and since its completion, Park Plaza has encouraged the outside community to attend its services, as well as the adult children of Park Plaza resident to come worship with their senior parents.
As part of the Synagogue's program, Epstein also designed a new glass Galleria which serves as the "social corridor" (aka Main Street) for residents and guests to interact and relax.The Galleria's glass tubular form slides through, and is embraced by, the screenwall of the Synagogue box. The screenwall is open to the sky and the south, providing shading, privacy and security, while affording an abundant amount of natural light to Park Plaza residents and visitors.
In addition to these facility renovations and additions, Epstein designed numerous site work improvements including a new 30' wide landscaped courtyard and drop-off for residents and guests.
All of these Epstein designed and engineered upgrades give the Park Plaza community a more welcoming entrance, a beautiful space for worship, and convenient amenities that both residents and guests will be able to enjoy.
The Epstein architects and engineers who created this gem include Andy Metter, Brad Hartig, Tom Scheckelhoff, Vince David, Carla Espinoza, Will Ernst, Ben Reber, Deraa Dike, Joe Bouley, Paula Padilla-Bożyk, Jay Reddy, Melissa Gibson, Maxie Suero, Stu White, John Robertson, Yan Weng and Tom Suarez.