Little Village’s Focal Point Attracts The Gaze of the AIA

New Saint Anthony Hospital at FocalPoint. Image courtesy of Saint Anthony Hospital.

New Saint Anthony Hospital at FocalPoint. Image courtesy of Saint Anthony Hospital.

This past February we told you that the century-plus Saint Anthony Hospital is moving from Douglas Park to Little Village. It’s taking up residence in a development called Focal Point, becoming the lead tenant in a complex that will eventually house the hospital, plus shops, a community center, meeting rooms, and other facilities that the neighborhood is lacking.

Chicago Southwest Development Corporation, the people behind Focal Point, have won an award for it from the American Institute of Architects.  Here’s the press release:


Focal Point Community Campus given American Institute of Architects’ 2013 National Healthcare Design Award
Recognized by the AIA as “a new paradigm in the industry”, Focal Point combines the best in design and functionality in order to serve and revitalize Chicago’s Southwest and West Sides

CHICAGO, October 11, 2013 — Focal Point’s breakthrough model for community development earned yet another accolade, the project has been recognized with the 2013 National Healthcare Design Award for Master Planning Urban Design from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

New Saint Anthony Hospital at FocalPoint

New Saint Anthony Hospital at FocalPoint. Image courtesy of Saint Anthony Hospital.

HDR Architecture feels that Focal Point is “both an anchor and change agent” for the surrounding Chicago neighborhoods and had this to say about the project and the reason they are excited about it:

“Acting as both an anchor and a change agent, the hospital is envisioned as an urban campus that fosters a relationship between the hospital and its community”, stated Abigail Clary, Regional Director, Healthcare, HDR Architecture. “This system serves as the interface between the world of healthcare and the world beyond, and it literally brings the two together – a new paradigm in the industry.”

The AIA jury who selected Focal Point for the award highlighted that the community campus goes “beyond the norm of the healthcare monolith” and “represents a trend for health and community integration especially within urban environments”.

Continued support of Focal Point’s revolutionary vision demonstrates that with hard work, dedication and innovative problem solving, community hospitals can adapt and thrive in order to continue to serve deserving neighborhoods – even in the face of these uncertain financial times.

“We are incredibly honored to have Focal Point receive this award from the American Institute of Architects. It is further validation of Focal Point’s cutting edge vision to reinvent community development and be the solution these great Chicago neighborhoods deserve. We are excited to bring vital medical, educational and retail services to them in a financially self-sustainable way and be a model for Chicago and the nation”, stated Guy A. Medgalia, President & CEO, Chicago Southwest Development Corporation.

From North Lawndale to Little Village to Back of the Yards, surrounding neighborhoods are facing great challenges like high unemployment, high dropout rates and limited access to primary healthcare providers. Focal Point community campus will change that and become the central gathering place where residents can come to meet all of their daily needs in a safe and family friendly environment—with access to everything from healthcare and wellness services to retail, education, arts and recreation.

Focal Point will operate on an innovative self-sustaining funding model where the for-profit elements of the campus support the not-for-profit elements, allowing Focal Point to expand a variety of services to these low-income neighborhoods despite declining financial support from the government. By fostering for- and non-profit collaboration, Focal Point sets a new standard not only for Chicago but for underserved urban communities across America.


Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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