The Salt District


2022 Merit Award


Chicago, IL


R2 Properties/ Blue Star Properties


Landscape Architectural Research

Landscape Architects

Omni Ecosystems

Project Details

Located along the North Branch of the Chicago River and adjacent to Goose Island, the Morton Salt warehouse with its iconic sign, has been a recognizable landmark for Chicago residents and visitors for nearly a century. After the Chicago-based manufacturer shuttered its salt storage and packing facility in 2015, the property was sold, and plans were made to convert it into a mixed-use development including indoor and waterfront music venues, retail, and office space. The adaptive reuse project, coined the Salt District, envisions the historic locale as a mixed-use destination that takes great advantage of its proximity to the river’s edge. The Salt District project site creates the research challenge to determine innovative landscape architecture strategies that provide multi-functional and cost-effective design solutions to simultaneously remediate industrial site contamination, provide effective storm water management, and create an immersive nature experience while also adhering to a strict budget. The landscape of the Salt District campus utilizes an optimized engineered storm water retaining media developed by the landscape architecture firm to tackle all of these challenges. It is the first time the City of Chicago approved an engineered media, creating a groundbreaking, decentralized green infrastructure solution to alleviate combined sewer overflow. This project now provides a proven storm water management solution that can be replicated anywhere throughout the world.

Project Team

Owner / Client: R2 Properties/Blue Star Properties
Architect: Lamar Johnson Collaborative
Engineer: V3 Companies

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