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The Ecumenical Institute

5th City Grid

The 5th City grid was created in 1964. These two versions of the grid appeared in the summer 1967 and fall 1981 issues of Image, respectively.*

The grid determined boundaries within which work could be done effectively. Sixteen square blocks, with 5,000 people were divided into “stakes,” which handled specific neighborhood issues (5th City, Rebirth of the Human City, 1973).

Initial work on the [5th City] preschool curriculum began in September 1964. Donna McCleskey (Lidoña Wagner) led a team including Sue Burdick, Doris Hahn, Aimee Williams (Hilliard), who did day-to-day teaching in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS 5) during the day and curriculum development in evenings

(Doris Hahn, 2013).

Local cadres


Local cadres were formed in Boston and New Orleans.


The Ecumenical Institute logo


The EI logo was created in 1964–65. The alpha and omega refer to “the beginning and the end” (refering to Jesus), the boat is a reference to the church as the new ark for the People of God. The cross is the symbol of vicarious self-giving—living on behalf of others.

* Sketched grid (top): Ecumenical Institute (1967, Summer). The 5th City Reformulation Project. Image, Journal of the Ecumenical Institute, 4, p. 7.


Drafted grid (mid-page): Institute of Cultural Affairs (1981). The Spirit of Community Is Being Recovered. Image: A Journal On The Human Factor, 10(4), p. 11.