The people behind the project had three objectives:
"Re-imagine and repurpose and better utilize our alley spaces."
Tim Jordan is co-owner of Old Soul. The coffeehouse opened in the alley between 17th and 18th streets near L four-and-a-half years ago. Since then new condos have been built and $455,000 in private and public funds have been spent on infrastructure improvements.
Jordan says the alley is a case study for smart revitalization.
"…not only as a public amenity but prospectively as a resource to generate additional tax base."
Councilman Steve Cohn says renovating alleys makes economic sense.
"There's actually a whole plan to do dozens of alleys. But in the meantime we'll also make it possible for people to put in housing pretty much any alley in the central city."
Saturday's Rally for the Alley will be from 4 to 6 PM.