GPW: Church Street Station

July 29, 2011 at 9:09 pm Project of the Week: 7/25/11
Church Street Station
Evanston, IL, USA
8,500  sf. Greenroof

Year: 2002
Owner: Focus Development
Location: Evanston, IL, USA
Building Type: Multi-Family Residential/Multi-Use
Type: Intensive
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 8,500 sq.ft.
Slope: 1.5%
Access: Accessible, Open to Public

Project Description & Details

When it planned to build the Church Street Station Condominiums, the building owner, Focus Development, added an important feature to the building – a Garden Roof – where condominium owners could go to get away from the bustle of daily life.  Installed on the 5th floor roof atop the residents’ parking structure alongside a beautiful pool and fitness room, this 8,500 sf Garden Roof not only adds natural beauty, it has proven a major selling advantage – a private oasis in the middle of downtown Evanston and mere moments away from occupants’ doorsteps.

Installed by Intrinsic Landscaping, the Garden Roof Assembly was provided by American Hydrotech and is based on time-tested components like the Monolithic Membrane 6125-EV waterproof membrane.   Birch, maple and evergreen trees, tall grasses, and flowering shrubs and perennials create a naturalistic backdrop to the lush lawn and beautiful arbors. The growing media depth in the lawn area is 8″, with the perimeter parapet in the range of 18″ deep. The irrigation is through pop up emitters.

Designers/Manufacturers of Record

Architects: Otis Koglin Wilson
General Contractor: Walsh Construction
Landscaping Installer:
Intrinsic Landscaping
Roofing Installer: Mansfield Roofing
Garden Roof Manufacturer: American Hydrotech
Landscape Architect: Douglas Hills and Associates
Engineer: Alta Engineering, Ltd.

Additional Info

Construction for Church Street Station began in May 2001, and first closings occurred in September, 2002.   The 17 story, 105-unit condominium development also has 17,000 square feet of ground floor retail space.  Located in the heart of downtown Evanston, the multi-use project includes an indoor swimming pool with outdoor sun deck, fitness center and parking.

The development has a prime attraction due to its proximity to public transportation with CTA and Metra stops across the street, in addition to the array of distinct shops and upscale restaurants within easy walking distance.

“Church Street Station features 18 floor plans among its 103 condo-miniums, including soft lofts, tower homes, deluxe tower homes, and duplex penthouses.   All homes feature one to three bedrooms, one to four baths, floor-to-ceiling windows, and private balconies or terraces.   The building also boasts a number of luxury high-rise amenities, including a doorperson, indoor pool, outdoor sun deck, fitness center, hospitality room, bike room, private storage lockers, and rooftop terrace with garden.” ~ Church Street Station Condominium Association.

Visit  their website where you can find information about the building and the city of Evanston, Illinois.

And perhaps the coolest amenity is the lushly landscaped vegetative roof!

The developer decided on the greenroof system as an environmentally friendly response to the urban  heat island effect of increasing temperatures from this growing area.   The project is sold out and the retail is 80% leased.

The high quality and efficiency of the sytem chosen, the Garden Roof Assembly, by American Hydrotech, starts with their Monolithic Membrane 6125-EV waterproof membrane.   A seamless hot-applied rubberized asphalt membrane, MM6125-EV provides long-lasting protection and incorporates a minimum of 25% recycled materials.  The assembly also includes Floradrain FD40, which helps to recreate the plants’ natural growing environment on the roof.   Designed to retain moisture, irrigating the vegetation from the underside, Floradrain also channels excess water to drains.

In this November, 2009 video below I found on YouTube, you are taken on a tour of  the sprawling greenroof, the indoor pool and the fitnesss room by Joe Zekas of

In 2001 when the developer, Focus Development, decided to invest in their beautiful living roof, they said they were taking the lead from Chicago’s City Hall Pilot Greenroof, which had just installed theirs to show civic leadership earlier that year.

If you can’t fight City Hall, you can always join it, right?   Click here to see the profile from forward-thinking  Focus Development.

Did we miss something? We’d love to hear from you! Click here to see more information about this project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database. See how you can submit yours here.

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!

~ Linda V.