This month, Chicago’s Plan Commission approved plans for a new skatepark at the south end of Grant Park. Plans were released last fall, showing curvy paved pathways and sculptural landscape features courtesy of the Chicago Park District and North Center urban design studio Altamanu.
Using the address 300 East 11th Street, the new skate park would be the city’s fifth and would draw on the neighborhood’s local population of 60,000 students. Originally the project featured a grassy amphitheater, but that was whittled out of the new plan. In all, the skate park and associated “passive areas” will total three acres, said Chicago Park District spokesman Peter Strazzabosco.
Bob O’Neil of the Grant Park Conservancy told Chicago Architecture Blog:
We were able to get input and design from all kinds of skaters and BMXers so it was crowd-sourced before crowd sourcing was cool. We organized skaters back in 2006. The final design is innovative and allows it to be used by the entire public not just skaters and other ”wheelers”. It will be a place for all types of people and park users to gather.
The skate park will be part of a 1.9-acre addition to the 325-acre downtown park’s southwest corner, between South Michigan Avenue and the Metra Electric District railroad tracks. The city will sell the land to the Park District for one dollar, assuming that sale is approved as expected at a City Council meeting on Wednesday.
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