Hancock Replacement Plan Filed With The City

Several months after a ceremonial groundbreaking, plans for Chicago’s Hancock Replacement have been filed with the city clerk.

No, they’re not replacing the 100-story former John Hancock Center recently neutered in name to 875 North Michigan.  We’re talking about the project officially known as “Hancock Replacement” which will build a new John Hancock College Prep School at 5423 West 64th Place, across the street from Grimes Elementary School in the city’s West Clearing neighborhood.   If you can’t place it, it’s four blocks south of Midway Airport, and within bread-sniffing distance of the Bimbo bakery across 65th Street in the Village of Bedford Park.

Rendering of the new John Hancock College Prep school
Rendering of the new John Hancock College Prep school

Right now, that space is a dead surface parking lot, so a school with a little over 1,000 students will automatically be a marked improvement.  

The school was designed to be 49 feet, eight inches tall, keeping it 82 inches below the maximum height permitted by the FAA because of its proximity to Midway.

The main pedestrian entrance will be mid-block on West 64th Place.  Access to the parking lot is on the east end of the block, and bicycle parking is in between.  The parking lot will be covered with permeable pavers to allow rain to seep into the ground instead of run off into the sewers.

Rendering of the new John Hancock College Prep school
Rendering of the new John Hancock College Prep school

That bike parking is part of a large plaza taking up the northeast quadrant of this block, which includes a “learning garden.”  In the plans filed with the city, it appears to be cross-crossed with well-planned concrete walkways, but expect those to be organically supplemented by goat paths, just as they are at every school from M.I.T. on down.

This school is scheduled to open for the 2021/2022 school year.

Rendering of the new John Hancock College Prep school
Rendering of the new John Hancock College Prep school
  • Address: 5401-5459 West 64th Place
  • Address: 6435-6459 South Linder Avenue
  • Address: 5400-5458 West 65th Street
  • Address: 6434-6458 South Long Avenue
  • Developer: Public Buildings Commission of Chicago
  • Design architecture firm: Urban Works
  • Architecture firm of record: Legat Architects
  • Zoning: RS-2 (Residential Single-Unit [detached house]) → RT4 (Residential Two-Flat, Townhouse and Multi-Unit)→ IPD (Institutional Planned Development)
  • Net site area: 159,066 square feet
  • Floor area ratio: 1.2
  • Floors: three
  • Maximum height: 49 feet, eight inches
  • Students: 1,080
  • Faculty and staff: 103
  • Classrooms:
    • 27 standard classrooms
    • 4 multi-purpose rooms
    • 3 physics classrooms 
    • 2 art classrooms
    • 2 biology classrooms
    • 2 chemistry classrooms
    • 2 “diverse learning” classrooms
    • 1 cafetorium
    • 1 choral classroom
    • 1 computer classroom
    • 1 dance room
    • 1 gymnatorium with seating for about 1,350
    • 1 health classroom
    • 1 music theory classroom
    • 1 musical instrument classroom
    • 1 theater with seating for 265
    • 1 weight room
    • PE facilities
  • Students: 1,080
  • Automobile parking: 47 spaces

Author: Editor

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

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    • Editor

      Not that I saw in the project documents. But it’s possible I missed something, or it simply wasn’t labeled.

      These days there is a grand assumption by parents and administrators that students don’t want libraries anymore. Yet somehow libraries, at school and elsewhere, are operating at capacity. But it seems iPads get the funding these days.

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