ERNEST C. WONG
Ernest C. Wong, is the President and a founding member of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Illinois. Wong, Founder and Principal of site design group, ltd. has been instrumental in the evolution of the firm as a multi-cultural cutting edge design entity and fostering the landscape architecture and urban design profession in the City of Chicago. In managing the firm for over 31 years, site design group, ltd. (site) has established a reputation for creative design solutions, and developing thoughtful, community-oriented urban spaces.
Since the firm’s inception in 1990, site has grown to become a nationally award-winning landscape architecture and urban design firm known for their innovation and leadership. As landscape architects, urban designers, planners, arborists, architects, and creative thinkers, the firm’s staff comprises 36 diverse and innovative professionals. Over the past 10 years, the firm has diversified their market from 90% municipal work to a healthy mixture of public, private,institutional, corporate, and developer services. The addition of work with not-for-profit organizations has expanded the firm’s ability to navigate changes in a fluctuating market and adds to their reputation for supporting community development.
site’s work reflects their commitment to improving the quality of life and the sustained resilience of all ofChicago’s diverse communities, while prioritizing the highest level of design excellence. Recognition of the firm has included national awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and Congress for theNew Urbanism (CNU), as well as prestigious awards from regional organizations, including the Driehaus Foundation Awards for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, Chicago Architecture Foundation, Metropolitan Planning Council, and the Illinois Chapter ASLA, notably winning the Firm of the Year Award in 2017.
An advocate of contextually designed public open spaces and urban parks, Mr. Wong has directed numerous acclaimed projects by site. Their work in Chicago’s Chinatown and other Asian American communities has evolved through transformative, community- oriented projects including the multi-phased Ping Tom Memorial Park, Wentworth Avenue Streetscape, Argyle Shared Street, the Chinatown Vision Plan, the Chinatown Branch Library, and the ongoing Wells and Wentworth Connector. Through professional and service leadership, Mr. Wong has advocated for and helped revitalization efforts of numerous urban neighborhoods, with a focus on social equity in the public realm. Urban communities in Chicago, Kansas City, Omaha, and Milwaukee have benefitted from Mr. Wong’s advocacy of equity in design, funding, and implementation of public space.