Pushing for a New Park in Chicago’s Lakeview Neighborhood

Midwest, Newsletter
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
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(images courtesy Moss Design)

The designers behind the Lakeview Area Masterplan, Moss Design, are pushing ahead with a plan for a new park on a vacant lot  on North Paulina Street adjacent to the Brown Line tracks. According to their research there are five vacant lots within a one block area, so there is ample land available for development. This argument has yet to sway Alderman Scott Waguespack, who has opposed a plan for the Special Services Area to acquire the land with the help of the non-profit Openlands.

According to Matt Nardella, principal at Moss, the Alderman favors a mixed-use development on the site. Moss and the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, which funded the masterplan, are currently exploring other options to acquire the land privately.

Plans for the park include shade trees, picnic mounds and other seating, a food truck corral, bioswales and other elements. The masterplan is unusual for its emphasis on sustainability, not the typical concern of chambers of commerce. Still, the designers and the chamber believe that attractive open space will make the area more desirable to business and residents.

4 Responses to “Pushing for a New Park in Chicago’s Lakeview Neighborhood”

  1. hj says:

    What a terrible idea. The parcel is far too small to be of any significant value… and any value it might have is entirely negated by the combination of being under the El AND being on Lincoln Ave.

    The property should be developed to its maximum potential with an emphasis on holding the street corner and auto independence. I cannot believe that for once a Chicago alderman’s idea is more beneficial to the urban environment that the design community.

  2. hj's friend says:

    I love that this plan realizes every other vibrant city in the world celebrates their transit stops with adjacent small parks or plazas. I think it takes bold vision to reorient the city away from automobiles and towards people. Bravo! Lakeview needs more open space that will most certainly spur development of the other nearby vacant parcels.

  3. Dan says:

    Alderman Waguespack may prefer a mixed-use development, but this parcel has been vacant for quite some time. And a park sure beats a vacant lot.

  4. WT says:

    I think this is a great idea. I live 2 blocks from here and the closest open space we have is a half mile away. The neighborhood has many shops and restarurants already, but lacks an open place to sit. I would love to pass the green space as I walk to work instead of mix-use development.

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