“For a long time, 2358 S Whipple St. was one of the only Chicago Fire Stations serving the Little Village Neighborhood, it held two fire engines and housed several firefighters that oversaw the city. In 2011 a new fire station was constructed a block away and 2358 S Whipple became vacant lot used for extra parking spaces. However, a new initiative by the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) and Delta Institute could see the station transformed into a commercial kitchen that would benefit both street vendors and the community.
“The location selected by LVEJO and Delta Institute for the potential commercial kitchen is the 8,110 square feet vacant fire station located on 2358 S Whipple St. in Little Village. According to William Schleizer, the chief executive officer of Delta Institute, an organization that works with businesses and communities to devise green initiatives, the fire station was selected from a pool of over 200 locations for its proximity to the highly trafficked streets of Kedzie and 26th.
“The city-owned firehouse could be reutilized to help catalyze and strengthen an entrepreneurial culture that’s already there and would be a center point for growing a closed-loop food entrepreneurial system for the entire neighborhood,” said Schleizer”