Will the new Grant Park skateboard park be the end of two historic stone boulders?

Will the new Grant Park skateboard park be the end of two historic stone boulders?
The boulders a few years ago photo/Bonnie McGrath

Two stone boulders--all that's left of the old Illinois Central Station at 11th and Michigan that was torn down decades ago--are still on the site.  A site that is under construction for a new skateboard park.  Will the boulders stay?  Who knows?

It was a wonderful thing through the years that two big stones were left behind that made up the arch of the old history-laden station. They've provided a simple and  true living memory on a grassy hill.   But what with the construction that is afoot at that location--ultimately it's going to be a park for skateboarders and a privately run "venue"--preservationists and sentimentalists may lose out.

The only reason I've heard for putting a skateboard park out there on the southwest corner of Grant Park (by the way there was already one several yards away in Grant Park that is being torn out)  is "because skateboard parks bring technology to a city."  Yes, one of Rahm's toadies actually made that statement at a community meeting a while back.

And of course, those young teen and preteen skateboarders who "bring technology to a city" just love the wholesomeness of a park for their purpose, right?

Wrong.

They actually love swiveling by, full speed ahead on main streets, scaring old ladies and babies in strollers.  A formal park that keeps them secluded is not their thing. I guarantee that.

So I decided to follow the money.  In my head, at least.  Why does a skate park have to go right there?  Could there be some sort of landscaping or grading issue needed by the "venue" that an adjacent skate park paid for by the city can provide?  Enlighten me.  Let me know.

In the meantime, if the boulders are to be discarded by this barbaric administration that thinks nothing of history or preservation--to the extent they've allowed an orange and blue bank to be constructed in Grant Park--fill us neighbors in.  Better to give them to one of us, we who hold the memory of the IC station in high esteem, than toss them into oblivion.

ic station

Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Leave a comment