Gary Comer Youth Center - Part 2 / by Michelle Linden

One of the greatest things about the Gary Comer Youth Center is the services it provides. I've always been a huge fan of architecture that really serves people, and this building truly exemplifies that idea. Rather than serving as a testament to an architect's ego, this project actually helps to improve the lives of the community members it serves.

The Youth Center is an impressive facility that is primarily home to the famous South Shore Drill Team. The Drill Team is known for its abilities as well as for its record of keeping its members off of the streets and in school. Specifically serving a neighborhood the residents refer to as 'the pocket', students are required to maintain a C average and are strongly encouraged to attend college.

Now that the Team has a brand new facility, their programs have only grown. Students have access to heath facilities, tutoring, mentoring, dance classes, art, college preparation, and more. Counselors will even help alumni figure out their college tuition bills. Clearly, the people running and using the center are so much more spectacular then the building could ever be.

In my opinion, this is when architecture is at its most exciting... You can see how this building will engage its occupants, providing them with a fabulous center to learn and grow, and hopefully in turn allow them to give back to the community.