Thursday, November 18, 2010

Park Plans Presented to Community

Plans for a new park at 16th and S. Wabash Ave. were revealed last night, November 17, 2010, at the 1st District Chicago Police Station, 1718 S. State St.

Beth Meier Tomlins, Project Manager, Planning and Development for the Chicago Park District, introduced the park plan championed by Second Ward Alderman Robert Fioretti. The actual conceptual plans developed by Altamanu Inc. and Terra Engineering were presented by John Mac Manus.
Meeting attendees mingle after park presentation
Mac Manus presented two concepts: A and B. Concept A was “curvilinear” in its design. It contained separate fenced areas for small and large dogs. It also included trees in raised planters and artificial turf. The artificial turf would be resistant to germs and bacteria. An earthen berm would face north toward 16th St. as a people space and a buffer for noise. The feature of  Concept A that seemed appealing to most in attendance was the path circling the fenced in dog spaces.

Concept B was more straightforward with clearer delineated spaces for dogs and people. It incorporated a lot of the same features as Concept A (trees, artificial turf), but it appears from the design that Concept B may utilize the space more fully. Both concepts included a water feature.

The plans are still in the conceptual stage. Tomlins and McManus took questions from South Loop residents in attendance, encouraging feedback. The majority seemed to be in favor of the park, although there were several who took issue with the need for a dog park, sighting noise and other factors. Some expressed their desire to combine the dog space with a people space, and still others voiced their desire for a park specifically for children.

According to Tomlins, construction on the new park could begin next summer. The funding is through TIF money. The project cost is estimated between $2 to $4 million, including environmental remediation.

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