Change–The Only Constant at the Lurie Garden

By The Lakota Group  |  September 27, 2012

Last year, I had the opportunity to intern at the Lurie Garden in Chicago’s Millennium Park, designed by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol and Piet Oudolf. While working in the garden, I was reminded daily of a design element that distinguishes the practice landscape architecture from other design disciplines –change in the landscape over time. Completed in... Read More

Categories: Around the Office, Ideas + Research

Main Street Momence Does A Master Plan

By Nick Kalogeresis  |  December 2, 2011

Over the years, The Lakota Group has had the privilege and opportunity to work in many rural towns and small communities throughout the Midwest, ranging in assignments from designing new waterfronts to designing streetscapes and preparing downtown master plans.  During the last three years, our Main Street revitalization and historic preservation work has also taken... Read More

Categories: Ideas + Research, Project Stories

Tour de Cincinnati

By The Lakota Group  |  October 10, 2012

  I recently had the opportunity to spend a long weekend back in my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. Every time I take a trip back I’m eager to experience the slow, but steady, revitalization of downtown and the near neighborhoods. This time, it was a little bit more exciting because I was hauling my bike... Read More

Categories: Around the Office, Ideas + Research

Immediate Urbanism: Quicker, Cheaper & Way More Fun

By Valerie Poulos  |  February 22, 2017

Becoming aware: My daily commute is all of one hour, door to door. Within that hour, I drive, park, walk, ride the green line, and then walk the last half mile to get to the front door of my brick-faced office. If you are like me, and take the same route (or some version of... Read More

Categories: Ideas + Research

Thinking Big for a Backyard Redesign

By Kevin Clark  |  October 18, 2012

The Challenge Very few professions elicit requests for help from family, friends and–let’s face it– acquaintances, like landscape architecture does. At some point, essentially every person I have known has asked me some form of this question: “Can you (show me a few ideas/tell me what’s wrong with this tree/pick out some plants/completely redesign) my... Read More

Categories: Around the Office, Project Stories

My Life With the Bagpipes

By Nick Kalogeresis  |  November 13, 2012

This blog post is not my usual, straight-laced update posting on Lakota projects and happenings. Nope, it’s not even my customary musings about some cool, forlorn old buildings I happened to come across during a work assignment. This time around, I thought I’d write about my quirky but somewhat intriguing (to some) little hobby, one... Read More

Categories: Around the Office, Uncategorized

Historic Theaters and Revitalizing Traditional Commercial Districts – Recent Lakota Work

By Nick Kalogeresis  |  April 12, 2012

Over the past year, the Lakota Group has had a full plate of work with challenging commercial district planning work in three very distinct communities and neighborhoods  – the Six Corners commercial district in Chicago’s ethnically diverse northwest side; downtown Kenosha, Wisconsin, once one of the state’s most bustling industrial hubs; and Momence, Illinois, a small... Read More

Categories: Around the Office, Ideas + Research, In The News, Project Stories

Empower your Community with These Three Strategies

By Cassandra Ann  |  January 11, 2017

“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” — Margaret J. Wheatley As communities’ Allies in Place, we strive to help our clients and their constituents discover those things they care about most, and develop plans that make them come to fruition. We continually look to add to... Read More

Categories: Ideas + Research, Project Stories

Frank Lloyd Wright and Survey Serendipity

By Nick Kalogeresis  |  March 14, 2013

I’ve spent most of my adult life living in Oak Park, Illinois, that well-known Chicago suburb celebrated for being the birthplace of Ernest Hemingway and the home of that other distinguished gentleman, Frank Lloyd Wright, who designed a number of his Prairie School homes and buildings in the community during the first couple of decades... Read More

Categories: Awards + Accolades, Ideas + Research

Movin’ On Up!

By The Lakota Group  |  July 29, 2015

The Lakota Group celebrates its hard-working team members and their new titles. Read More

Categories: Around the Office, Awards + Accolades

Mastering the Main Street Revitalization Approach

By The Lakota Group  |  April 1, 2013

The grassroots Main Street Four-Point Approach, developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has helped revitalize traditional commercial districts in small towns, suburbs, and urban neighborhoods across the country over the last three decades. Lakota vice president, Nick Kalogeresis, who spent 10 years working for the National Trust Main Street Center as a program... Read More

Categories: Ideas + Research, In The News, Project Stories

It’s Award Season at Lakota

By The Lakota Group  |  May 6, 2015

Lakota Wins Merit Award for St. Cloud Placemaking The Lakota Group was recently presented with a Merit Award by the Illinois chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ILASLA) for its innovative work in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Engaged to help identify placemaking strategies and opportunities to enhance quality of life, Lakota worked to educate St.... Read More

Categories: Awards + Accolades, In The News, Project Stories

Moline Centred Plan Receives Best Strategic Plan Award

By Nick Kalogeresis  |  October 13, 2014

Over the years, the Lakota Group has had a fruitful working relationship with the communities that comprise the Quad Cities metropolitan region. In 1998, Lakota, in collaboration with 18 Quad City communities and various other local non-profit groups and agencies, created the Mississippi River Corridor Land Use Plan and Design Principles, a comprehensive planning document... Read More

Categories: Awards + Accolades, In The News

CANstruction: The Lakota Group Gorilla Wins the People’s Choice Award!

By Nick Kalogeresis  |  September 16, 2014

Did you happen to notice an 8-foot tall silverback gorilla tromping through the Merchandise Mart recently?  Then you may have seen the CANstruction Chicago 2014 entry designed and built by The Lakota Group and its teammates Valenti Builders and Myefski Architects.  “CANsanova Knuckle-Crushes Hunger,” took home the People’s Choice Award as well as the ribbon... Read More

Categories: Around the Office, Awards + Accolades

Rethinking Community Engagement

By Becky Hurley  |  April 3, 2017

At Lakota, we pride ourselves on our community engagement and we work hard at it.  Phone calls, surveys, and digital input have their place, but nothing beats walking around and talking to peoplereal—and by this, I mean busy, opinionated, complex, and completely human —people. There are hidden issues at play, ranging from how we do... Read More

Categories: Ideas + Research

Tactical Urbanism, Sunnyside-Up!

By The Lakota Group  |  September 4, 2015

Read More

Categories: Around the Office, Ideas + Research, Project Stories

Governmental Policy and the Creation of Vibrant Rural Communities

By Cade W. Sterling, MLA  |  January 25, 2017

How does the government define rural, and how can allies of the built environment challenge the incoming administration to continue and advance programs and policies that have strengthened and maintained rural character and sense of place? The U.S. Census Bureau simply defines rural as, “areas that are not urban–that is, after defining individual urban areas,... Read More

Categories: Ideas + Research

Synthetic Turf’s Presence Grows in Winnetka

By The Lakota Group  |  August 29, 2013

A few weeks ago I attended the ribbon cutting for a project I worked on for the Winnetka Park District.  The project was the first portion of a Master Plan enhancement to the Park District’s Skokie Playfield complex.  It was very rewarding to see the project come to life as it had been a five... Read More

Categories: Ideas + Research, Project Stories

New Year | New People | New Work

By Marisa Schulz  |  January 10, 2018

We are beyond thrilled to welcome MORGAN HARTY to our growing team. Morgan is a landscape architect with an expertise in green infrastructure techniques focusing on stormwater management and water conservation. The New Year also brought new projects… We are kicking-off our work on CHICAGO’S GREEKTOWN MASTER PLAN, which seeks to maintain the cultural identity... Read More

Categories: Uncategorized

A Few Brews

By Jason Addington  |  February 20, 2013

Just before the holidays, a few of us at Lakota got together at my house to eat some pizza and brew a little beer.   It was a fairly cold night to be brewing on my back deck, but with a few layers and a few…umm, beverages, we were able to stay warm and complete several... Read More

Categories: Around the Office

The Wetlands Initiative

By Becky Hurley  |  February 20, 2017

Lakota has just completed a community engagement and master planning process for the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge, a spectacular 3,000-acre wetland and natural area about two hours southwest of Chicago.  After almost a century as farmland, in 2001 The Wetlands Initiative turned off the pump and began to restore the Refuge to wetlands. The Refuge today... Read More

Categories: In The News, Project Stories

My Ideal Urban Design/Planning Bookshelf

By Mike Kritzman  |  January 10, 2013

In response to one of 2012’s big holiday gifts for bibliophiles, My Ideal Bookshelf, in which various leading cultural figures provide a list of their favorite books, I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon and offer up my own personal list. However, in the spirit of this blog and for the sake of brevity (I... Read More

Categories: Ideas + Research

In the Community, In the News

By Marisa Schulz  |  November 9, 2016

Lakota has been in the news again, engaging with suburban communities outside both Chicago and Milwaukee—and those conversations are yielding real results: ACTIVE TOSA: Lakota is leading the effort to create a Recreational Master Plan for Wauwatosa, a community near Milwaukee, WI. Our work, which will address the future of the parks, trails, open spaces, and recreation... Read More

Categories: In The News, Project Stories

The Newsiest of News Around Lakota

By Becky Hurley  |  November 20, 2016

Out with the warm weather but in with more new hires at Lakota! We are absolutely thrilled to announce the newest additions to our growing Team: MARISA SHULZ, an experienced urban designer, planner, and writer, joins us as our first Marketing + Brand Director.  Marisa was most recently on the faculty at DePaul’s Chaddick institute... Read More

Categories: Uncategorized

Art-o-mat in the ‘Cloud

By The Lakota Group  |  April 10, 2013

Recently, a group of us from Lakota were in St. Cloud, Minnesota, kicking off a Comprehensive Placemaking process. It was an intense, but great, week. We met with a diverse spectrum of people through a range of formal and informal settings. For much of the week we were camped out in a vacant storefront on... Read More

Categories: Ideas + Research, Project Stories

A Return to Democratic Space

By Kevin Clark  |  August 16, 2017

So much discussion in recent months has focused on the division in our country; a discord that has played out across multiple platforms, including news outlets, social media, public protests, massive marches, and town hall meetings. In the midst of these events, I’ve looked back on the places I’ve visited and worked—red and blue states,... Read More

Categories: Around the Office

Lakota Bullish about Downtown Kenosha

By Nick Kalogeresis  |  September 16, 2014

Scott was the keynote speaker at the annual State of Downtown Kenosha this week, where he told the audience of more than 100 people that the city had a unique asset to build on:  its streetcar infrastructure.  The event was reported in the Kenosha News under the headline “Boosters bullish about state of downtown Kenosha”... Read More

Categories: Awards + Accolades, Ideas + Research, In The News, Project Stories

Two IL – ASLA Awards

By Becky Hurley  |  February 20, 2017

Lakota is happy to announce it just received two awards from the Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects for two very different projects.  Lakota’s work at Hubbard Woods Park received a Merit award in the General Design-Constructed Projects category. This project examined an under-utilized open space and provided improvements to help reinvigorate... Read More

Categories: Awards + Accolades, Project Stories

Bike Sharing is Coming to Chicago

By The Lakota Group  |  November 28, 2012

Here at The Lakota Group, we have a few employees who ride their bikes regularly to work (Megan and Jason), so we were happy to hear that Chicago is bringing bike love to everyone come Spring 2013. The Chicago Department of Transportation is asking anyone who is interested to post on a map where he... Read More

Categories: Around the Office, Ideas + Research

CNU-IL and AIA-Chicago Host “Tactical Urbanism Slam”

By Becky Hurley  |  June 1, 2015

On Thursday May 7th at the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), Kyle Smith of CNT and Ian Sisson of The Lakota Group co-hosted a “Tactical Urbanism Slam” with their respective organizations, the Congress for New Urbanism – Illinois Chapter (CNU-IL), and the American Institute of Architects Chicago Chapter (AIA Chicago). The event featured eight speakers with... Read More

Categories: Around the Office, Awards + Accolades, Ideas + Research

Neighborhoods, Master Plans and Tivoli Lights: An End of The Year Lakota Group Update

By Nick Kalogeresis  |  December 22, 2011

An old Lakota Sioux proverb says that it takes a thousand voices to tell a single story.  We thought it would be a good opportunity to provide a brief update on our project portfolio – projects that showcase the depth and talent of our team of planners and designers. From all of us at Lakota, we... Read More

Categories: Around the Office, Project Stories

Milwaukee Redux – the 2016 Main Street Now Conference

By Nick Kalogeresis  |  June 2, 2016

Every morning this past month of May, I’ve mistakenly typed “mainst” into my laptop computer password field at work. Such an annoying occurrence — it was my old password from the laptop I had while working for the National Main Street Center so many years ago. But I know why I was doing it —... Read More

Categories: Around the Office, Ideas + Research

In the (Partner) Spotlight with the Millennium Reserve

By Becky Hurley  |  February 4, 2016

The Lakota Group has been featured as a Partner Spotlight on the Millennium Reserve Website. President Scott Freres explains how Lakota embodies an “ally” mentality, while VP Sarah White emphasizes the importance of public engagement in Lakota’s process, which, Sarah says, is all about “trying to find common ground between people with different perspectives. Our work... Read More

Categories: Awards + Accolades, In The News

Lakota’s Gateway Master Plan Makes the News

By Becky Hurley  |  January 15, 2016

The Lakota Group’s work to create a cohesive and community-supported vision for the Forest Preserve of Cook County was recognized yesterday by Doug T. Graham of the Daily Herald. “Although designs for the gateways have not been completed, the goal is for them to convey a sense of welcome, interest, safety and beauty, according to... Read More

Categories: In The News, Project Stories

25 Years Since 1993

By The Lakota Group  |  March 26, 2018

For the Lakota family, it’s all about the people – in 1993, it all started with a dream to make great planning accessible to all communities. This year marks our 25-year anniversary. Join us in celebrating innovation, great work, and inspiring communities through a series of blogs on the 25th of every month. Follow us... Read More

Categories: 25 Lakota, Uncategorized

Lakota’s New Look: New Brand, New Vibe

By Becky Hurley  |  October 1, 2016

We at Lakota pride ourselves on being able to listen to folks, synthesize what we hear about their values, histories and goals, and then pull it all together into a creative whole. So when faced with the need to take a deep look at our own Lakota brand, it was a rare chance to sit... Read More

Categories: Around the Office

Welcoming the New Lakotans

By The Lakota Group  |  July 10, 2017

We are very excited to welcome the New Lakotans! Jonathan Smith – Senior Landscape Architect Siraj Asfahani – Associate Rachael Smith – Associate Our Team is growing and we couldn’t be more excited about our new additions. Read More

Categories: Around the Office

Pullman State Historic Site: ULI Releases Technical Assistance Panel Report

By Nick Kalogeresis  |  May 17, 2012

As a follow-up to an earlier post here at the Lakota blog regarding the Pullman State Historic Site, the Urban Land Institute-Chicago District Council just released the Final Report of its Technical Assistance Panel Visit to the site last October.  The report provides a summary of the Panel’s findings during its three-day site visit, including... Read More

Categories: Ideas + Research, In The News, Project Stories

Transit-Oriented Downtown Evanston

By The Lakota Group  |  April 1, 2013

Abutting Chicago’s North Side, Evanston has developed a reputation as a desirable, transit-oriented community that promotes economic growth without compromising its unique sense of place. For the APA’s National Planning Conference being held in Chicago from April 13-17, Kevin Clark, Lakota Group vice president, will give a tour of Evanston’s mixed-used downtown and will talk... Read More

Categories: Around the Office, Ideas + Research, In The News

Pullman 20 years later – Lakota Participates in ULI Technical Assistance Panel for the Pullman State Historic Site

By Nick Kalogeresis  |  October 24, 2011

In April 1991, under former Governor James R. Thompson, the State of Illinois purchased the Pullman Palace Car Company Factory Complex and the adjacent Florence Hotel as part of a newly established state historic site. Those of you may recall from your college history or urban planning classes that Pullman was one of the country’s first... Read More

Categories: Awards + Accolades, Ideas + Research, Project Stories

Battling Hunger with Creative Muscle

By The Lakota Group  |  June 30, 2014

You may have noticed them if you’ve walked through the Merchandise Mart sometime in late August through early September. They stand about 10 feet tall and resemble anything from a waterfall to Garfield to a hotdog. Of course, we are talking about Chicago’s annual CANstruction event. For the past several years, Chicago’s leading AEC firms... Read More

Categories: Around the Office, Uncategorized

Welcome to the Lakota Group Blog

By Nick Kalogeresis  |  October 11, 2011

“It is observed that in any great endeavor, it is not enough for a person to depend on himself” – Lakota proverb. The Lakota Sioux Native-Americans of the Great Plains lived their lives according to the ideals of community, cooperation, generosity and strength.  For the Lakota, strong communities are not possible without cooperation, trust and... Read More

Categories: Around the Office

Biomimicry & Community Engagement: What Nature Can Teach Us About Building Strong Communities

By Rachael Smith  |  February 13, 2018

Here at The Lakota Group, we’ve been talking about how to best engage communities so that the projects we work on are truly community driven. This conversation has been happening simultaneously with a personal exploration of biomimicry and how it can be applied to urban planning. Biomimicry is the practice of looking to nature to... Read More

Categories: Around the Office, Ideas + Research

Lakota in the Tribune: Niles Arts+Culture Plan

By Siraj Asfahani  |  February 20, 2017

On February 16, the Lakota Group led a Community Workshop for the Niles Arts + Culture Master Plan. The event drew a huge crowd and was covered by the Chicago Tribune. Check it out! Read More

Categories: Awards + Accolades, In The News

Reinvigorating Oak Park through Public Investment

By The Lakota Group  |  April 1, 2013

What is the long-term value of investing in high-quality public spaces? And what impact do public infrastructure improvements have on private investment and placemaking? Daniel Grove, associate principal at The Lakota Group, and Scott Freres, principal/president, will be giving a tour of historic Marion Street in Oak Park for the National American Planning Association Conference... Read More

Categories: Awards + Accolades, Ideas + Research, In The News, Project Stories

Scott as Badger

By Becky Hurley  |  July 14, 2014

Scott was interviewed by his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, about his work as a landscape architect in the 20-plus years since he graduated.  Scott’s reflections about the practice of landscape architecture and how it has changed is worth a look, even for those who do not bleed Badger red.  Scott remembers that twenty... Read More

Categories: Ideas + Research, In The News

25 Years of Awards

By The Lakota Group  |  April 25, 2018

As we look back on the work we’ve done since our early days in 1993, we find projects that have been recognized again and again for their creativity and innovation in planning and design. Below is a list of 25 awards given to some of our favorite projects. North Center Senior Campus  City of Chicago... Read More

Categories: 25 Lakota, Awards + Accolades

Happy Holidays!

By The Lakota Group  |  December 21, 2012

This photo was taken by Daniel Grove, associate principal at The Lakota Group. The image was taken in the Pleasant District of historic downtown Oak Park, Ill., where The Lakota Group did the streetscape design using a rich variety of materials, such as natural stone, brick street/sidewalk paving, custom site furnishings, a central water feature,... Read More

Categories: Around the Office, Project Stories

Historic Preservation: An Integral Ingredient in Solving the Contemporary Urban Plight

By The Lakota Group  |  October 8, 2015

Want more? Click here for the full PDF:Historic Preservation – An Integral Ingredient in Solving the Contemporary Urban Plight Read More

Categories: Ideas + Research, In The News

The Power of Community — Green Apple Day of Service

By The Lakota Group  |  October 2, 2012

I recently spent my Saturday participating in the Green Apple Day of Service program, organized by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).  I had volunteered months back and had been paired with a school that was requesting professional assistance.  In this case, I became partnered with two adjacent schools in Blue Island that were... Read More

Categories: Around the Office

The Famous Box Elder

By The Lakota Group  |  August 5, 2013

I opened up my July issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine and started flipping through the pages, looking for some cool designs and inspiration. After reading a few articles, I turned the page and saw some wire trees. I said to myself, ‘This is cool–I did the same type of thing as my first project in... Read More

Categories: Ideas + Research

Chicago River Green Ribbon Award

By The Lakota Group  |  July 5, 2017

The Lakota Group’s Calumet & Southeast Chicago Lakefront Region Wayfinding Concept was awarded the Friends of the Chicago River Green Ribbon Award at the 2017 Annual Big Fish Ball. The Lakota team, in partnership with the Calumet Collaborative, Bluestone + Associates and sparc, inc., created this wayfinding concept to bring people together to experience the... Read More

Categories: Awards + Accolades

Mercy Donates Historic Home in Cedar Rapids MedQuarter to Couple

By The Lakota Group  |  April 23, 2014

For the past year, The Lakota Group has been working in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on developing a master plan for the newly-created MedQuarter district. While Lakota’s work on the master plan is nearing completion for the Self-Supporting Municipal Improvement District (SSMID), it looks like there is some other news taking place in the district. Recently,... Read More

Categories: In The News, Project Stories

Visiting Detroit at the 2014 National Main Street Conference

By Nick Kalogeresis  |  June 4, 2014

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written a blog post – more than a year in fact. Well, I thought I’d make up for my extended absence from the keyboard by chronicling my attendance at the National Main Street Conference, held this year in Detroit – the “Motor City!” – a place I’d come... Read More

Categories: Around the Office, Ideas + Research

Naperville recognized for its historic preservation efforts

By Nick Kalogeresis  |  October 13, 2011

The Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association recognized the City of Naperville’s historic preservation program with a 2011 Chapter “Best Practice” Award during the Illinois Chapter’s annual conference last week in Evanston.  Naperville undertook a two-year community engagement process to strengthen its local historic preservation program by revising its historic preservation ordinance, reconstituting the... Read More

Categories: Awards + Accolades, Project Stories

Lakota, LAbash and the Future of Landscape Architecture

By The Lakota Group  |  April 23, 2014

 Each year, landscape architecture students host an event called LAbash and for three days industry professionals are welcomed to host design workshops and give presentations on topics relevant to the industry. Since 1970, the networking event has been hosted by a different university in North America and since this year it was being held Scott... Read More

Categories: Awards + Accolades, Ideas + Research

Lakota Helps Sisters of BVM in Dubuque Plan for the Future

By The Lakota Group  |  April 23, 2014

 One of our more unique projects we’ve been working on for the past year or so has been in Dubuque, Iowa with the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Sisters asked that Lakota help develop a plan that would preserve their 108-acre campus in ways that align with their values as they... Read More

Categories: In The News, Project Stories

25 Years of Comprehensive Plans

By The Lakota Group  |  May 29, 2018

Since 1993, comprehensive and regional planning has evolved from land use “bubble maps” to strategic thinking on community resiliency, placemaking, and quality of life. Comprehensive plans must also inspire communities to be stewards of their own future and active participants in implementation. Lakota has completed numerous comprehensive plan assignments over the years in large cities, small... Read More

Categories: 25 Lakota, Uncategorized

Challenges and Opportunities of Integrating “Green” into Ordinances

By The Lakota Group  |  April 2, 2013

As the desire to incorporate sustainable initiatives into homes, businesses and developments grows, local governments often find that their ordinances did not anticipate these new practices. While certain practices require completely new language, others—such as rain barrels and light shelves—may be restricted by unintentional barriers within existing ordinances. Daniel Grove, Lakota associate principal, will present... Read More

Categories: Awards + Accolades, Ideas + Research

Density in the Suburbs | APA 2014 Conference

By Nick Kalogeresis  |  September 30, 2014

Lakota is a sponsor of this week’s APA-IL conference in Evanston, and we hope to see you there! Come see Scott participate in a panel discussion titled “Density in the Suburbs” on Wednesday at 1:00. The topic will be how to retrofit obsolete single use, suburban development into high density, sustainable development. As the program... Read More

Categories: Awards + Accolades, Ideas + Research

Photos: Lakota Hosts Happy Hour for APA Conference

By The Lakota Group  |  April 17, 2013

The American Planning Association recently held its national conference in Chicago and for the special occasion, we held a happy hour to bring together our friends in the planning world. While the location of the event was originally planned for our office courtyard, we moved it inside because it was a tad bit chilly (just... Read More

Categories: Around the Office

A Revitalized Marion Street in Oak Park, IL

By Nick Kalogeresis  |  September 24, 2012

The project to revitalize downtown Oak Park, Illinois was completed in fall of 2007, when plans to reopen a former pedestrian mall to two-way traffic were carried out. Marion Street, in the heart of the central business district, was transformed into a welcoming streetscape reminiscent of its early 20th century look. The new Marion Street... Read More

Categories: Awards + Accolades, Project Stories

Street Marionette

By Siraj Asfahani  |  June 27, 2017

Date: Monday the 19th | Time: 6:00 pm I open the door and the show begins. I walk the usual left, right, left with brief pauses during certain turns. I make sure not to stray away from my regular 3-foot wide path on stage; I feel anxious as I take my last turn. The performance... Read More

Categories: Ideas + Research

Daniel Speaks at 2014 Mississippi River Conference

By Nick Kalogeresis  |  October 15, 2014

Daniel has been invited to speak this week at the 2014 Mississippi River Conference in Moline about a web-based forum for community dialog that Lakota recently helped some wonderful long-term clients establish. For almost 20 years Lakota has worked closely with the Quad Cities community and with River Action, a Davenport-based organization that advocates for... Read More

Categories: Around the Office

MedQuarter Master Development Plan Wins 2014 APA-Iowa Award for Urban Design; Lakota visits Mason City, rewatches The Music Man

By Marisa Schulz  |  November 8, 2014

Each year, the Iowa Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-Iowa) asks its members to nominate plans, projects, and individuals deserving recognition for achievements in planning work.  This year, the MedQuarter Master Development Plan was honored by the organization as an exemplary urban design project – one of ten outstanding plans, projects, and individuals recognized.  The APA... Read More

Categories: Awards + Accolades, Project Stories

25 Years of Downtown Plans

By The Lakota Group  |  September 25, 2018

We’ve worked in downtowns across the country—large and small—to craft placemaking, transportation, and economic development strategies that provide both vibrant spaces for residents and destinations for visitors. Our downtown project experience includes design standards and form-based codes, public art and open space programming, streetscape planning and design, heritage tourism and Main Street planning, and signage... Read More

Categories: Uncategorized

25 Years of Parks & Playgrounds

By The Lakota Group  |  August 27, 2018

Since 1993, The Lakota Group has designed numerous parks across the Chicagoland area—from neighborhood playgrounds to entire park district comprehensive plans. Through every aspect of the process, we incorporate innovative, sustainable design and extensive community input. Check out just some of the parks and playgrounds we have worked on over the past 25 years!  ... Read More

Categories: Uncategorized

The Suburban Side of Transit-Oriented Development

By Mike Kritzman  |  October 24, 2018

Over the past 25 years, The Lakota Group has planned and designed transit-oriented developments around the Midwest. And we continue to help communities to transform the areas around their stations into destinations, hubs of economic activity, and people-filled Places. These projects and our current work in Chicago, Naperville, Niles, Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, and Deerfield... Read More

Categories: 25 Lakota, Ideas + Research

Newsiest of News

By The Lakota Group  |  May 17, 2018

25 YEARS AND COUNTING: This year marks Lakota’s 25th anniversary, and we are celebrating with a #LAKOTA25 CAMPAIGN. A series of blog posts on the 25th of each month highlight the range of work we have done over the past 25 years, and what’s ahead for Lakota. Be on the lookout for social media posts... Read More

Categories: Around the Office

2018 Promotions

By The Lakota Group  |  May 11, 2018

The Lakota Group is excited to announce the promotions of two of our long-time team members: KEVIN CLARK, PLA AICP  joined Lakota in 2005 and has been serving as our Director of Design since 2015. As a newly-promoted Principal, Kevin will continue to oversee all design aspects of the firm, as well as lead urban... Read More

Categories: Around the Office

Join us at the BARK(ing) Spot!

By The Lakota Group  |  September 10, 2018

We are excited to announce that in celebration of PARK(ing) Day on September 21st, The Lakota Group will be transforming parking spaces on West Illinois Street into an urban oasis filled with adoptable dogs from The Anti-Cruelty Society. This temporarily-transformed space, the BARK(ing) Spot, will feature leafy landscaping; comfy places to sit and play; and... Read More

Categories: Uncategorized

25 Years of Community Engagement

By The Lakota Group  |  June 25, 2018

For 25 years, The Lakota Group has engaged communities in fun and innovative ways. From St. Cloud, Minnesota, to San Antonio, Texas, and everywhere in between, we continue to create visionary work that is rooted in community stakeholders’ unique needs and desires. We seek to strike a balance between forward-thinking technologies and good ol’ fashioned face-to-face... Read More

Categories: 25 Lakota, Uncategorized

25 Years of Parks and Rec Planning

By The Lakota Group  |  July 25, 2018

For the last 25 years, Lakota has been working with communities across the country to transform parks, trails, waterfronts, and recreation fields into beautiful, active, and relaxing places for everyone. We’ve learned a lot along the way and have highlighted a few lessons learned from the firm’s top Parks and Rec planners. Read More

Categories: Uncategorized

Awards Season

By The Lakota Group  |  October 24, 2018

We are excited to announce that The Lakota Group has received two American Planning Association Awards this year! The Peoria Avenue BRT Land Use Framework was selected for the APA-OK 2018 Outstanding Plan Award: Lakota helped implement a new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service for Peoria Avenue, a main north-south corridor adjacent to downtown Tulsa.... Read More

Categories: Around the Office, Awards + Accolades

Park and Recreation Month Celebration Continues

By The Lakota Group  |  July 31, 2018

For 25 years, we’ve been planning Park and Recreation Plans around the Midwest. We are closing out Park and Recreation month with some insight on how Lakota’s process has become more accessible, reliable, and even more engaging!   Read More

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Alleys in Place: The History and Rise of Alleys in Chicago

By Tom Martin  |  January 10, 2020

Alleys and other forgotten urban spaces have long interested me. Upon seeing the Green Alley in Detroit in 2013, I have studied and meditated on the idea of alleyways and their greater potential. Over the course of 2020, I plan to dig into Chicago’s alleys as a case study, and reconsider what this urban form... Read More

Categories: Alley's in Place, Ideas + Research

Rewilding: Models and Methodologies

By Morgan Harty  |  July 16, 2019

At the Lakota Group we focus heavily on communication and engagement throughout our design and planning processes. Not only is it our job as landscape architects and urban planners to explore and create innovative solutions, but more importantly, we are charged with educating our clients and communities about best management practices and the value of... Read More

Categories: Uncategorized

Alleys in Place: Chicago’s Alleyway Typologies

By Tom Martin  |  March 13, 2020

In our previous post, we discussed the history of Chicago’s alleyway and gridded street system. With an alleyway network of more than 1,900 miles, we dug into how Chicago’s alleyways came to be. Building upon this history, we investigate the various typologies of Chicago alleyways. As is with any urban form, alleyways are more localized,... Read More

Categories: Alley's in Place, Ideas + Research