Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that a new park in North Grant Park will be named Maggie Daley Park to honor Chicago’s former First Lady, Maggie Daley, who passed away late last year. Maggie Daley was the wife of longtime Chicago mayor, Richard M. Daley. Maggie Daley was an active First Lady for Chicago, focusing particularly on the arts and culture.
The park will be 20 acres and according to the mayor’s press release, will be multi-functional park, with multisensory landscaping. There will also be signature elements like rock-climbing sculptures, an ice-skating ribbon, and play garden; and multiple event spaces.
“This new park will be a new jewel on Chicago’s lakefront, attracting visitors from Chicago and across the country to our vibrant downtown,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The beauty of this park and the number of amenities for children and families are a fitting tribute to a woman who gave so much of her own time to beautifying our City and improving the lives of children and young people.”
The park area is bordered by Columbus Drive, Randolph Street, Monroe Street and Lake Shore Drive. The parking structure underneath the park is undergoing repairs to the roof requiring the entire park area above to be completely removed, providing the City of Chicago and Chicago Park District with the unprecedented opportunity to redesign the area above the garage.
In addition to the new recreation and leisure opportunities created by the rock-climbing sculptures, ice-skating ribbon, and play garden, Maggie Daley Park will also include a variety of event spaces such as three large open lawn areas, a smaller lawn panel, café space and the skating ribbon. The park also will have picnic groves that can be used for smaller groups, such as birthday parties.
The Daley Bicentennial Field House will be a central hub for the indoor and outdoor programming at Maggie Daley Park throughout the year. Following construction, expanded programming will resume at Daley Bicentennial Field House. The core programs, such as day camps and pre-school, will be retained, and new programs made possible by the new park features such as the climbing park and skating ribbon will be added in 2014 and 2015.
“Maggie Daley’s commitment to our city’s young people was unparalleled,” said Cindy Mitchell, former Board Commissioner of the Chicago Park District and co-founder of Friends of the Parks, who worked with Maggie Daley for many years. “Through her work, she inspired so many of us to serve others. Her legacy will live on in this park.”
“The park, with its innovative green space, world-class children’s play area, ice skating ribbon, scooter plaza and many other amenities will be a very welcome addition to Grant Park. As with Millennium Park, the new Maggie Daley Park will strengthen Chicago’s economic engine. Maggie Daley Park will attract visitors from all over the world and will be yet another catalyst for Chicago’s downtown revitalization and attract people to live in the area,” said Bob O’Neill, president, Grant Park Conservancy.
The total project cost is estimated to be $55 million, which includes a combination of public and privately-raised funds.
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African-American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books