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CHICAGO, Monday, August 27, 2012. It was always a given that something/some place would be named after Chicago's former beloved first lady, Maggie Daley. Consideration has been given to a number of landmarks since her death from metastatic breast cancer in November 2011. Saturday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the North Grant Park renovation project would renamed to honor Mrs. Daley and her affection for the children of Chicago.
Already there is controversy. Could the $55 million be better spent in the neighborhoods rather than a glitzy Mag Mile location? Does downtown Chicago need another park? What about putting this money toward cutting down the shootings and killings plaguing the city--especially on the city's south and west sides? Others say the new park will bring more tourists and their wallets to the city ringing up more dollars than the project will cost.
There is no question that Chicagoans almost unanimously want to honor Maggie. Most recognize all she did for the the city from her After School Matters to her arts and beautification projects. The question is, "Is this the best choice?" It does seem that $55 million is a hefty sum for a playground. On the other hand, Millennium Park is a showcase for the city and does draw large crowds to the park.
No matter, the deal is a go, with construction scheduled to begin in the fall to transform Daley Bicentennial Park, just east of Millennium Park, into Maggie Daley Park. The 20-arce green space which will contain a rock climbing area, an ice skating "ribbon" or lane, and a play garden/playground is slated to open in 2015. Take a look at the artist renderings in the gallery below and see what you think.
Maggie Daley Park November 1, 2012 Construction Update:
Construction fence installation has been completed around the perimeter of Daley Bicentennial and Peanut Park.
Removal of the above-ground features such as benches, play equipment and other site furnishings is expected to be completed in the next several weeks.
Tree removal in Peanut Park has begun and should be completed by mid-November 2012. 160 honeylocust trees (currently marked with a ribbon) have been identified for removal, salvage and re-use as features in the park development.
A demonstration tree felling of these salvage trees will occur today (November 1) with four trees to be removed by the Contractor.
The week of November 5th marks the start of the tree removal activity at Daley Bicentennial. The tree removal is anticipated to take six weeks to complete.
Filed under: Maggie Daley Park.