It seems like forever that the little playhouse in the Prairie District’s Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens has been comfy in its home at 18th and Indiana. It was donated by a playhouse company many moons ago after the company displayed a number of nicely built and well-constructed little playhouses at the Taste of Chicago.
And it was a perfect fit. Because the house was supposed to be a loose copy of the Clarke House–the oldest house in Chicago–which just so happens to be the park’s anchor attraction.
Through the years, the little house has delighted Prairie District neighborhood kids and their parents. And every other visitor who’s passed through the park. It even underwent a renovation a few years ago.
But it’s suddenly gone. Is it liability issues? Is it in need of another rehab that the Chicago Park District can’t afford? Or is a rehab being done off-site? Who knows?
But the lingering question is this: What should be done with the now empty plot of ground on which it stood–if indeed the house is no longer for this world?
Should it provide added ground to the neighborhood-run vegetable garden in the park that exists just steps away from the plot where the playhouse stood? Should it become a rock garden? Another flower garden for the park? Or should it be a foundation for a brand new playhouse? Or a sculpture of some kind? Or maybe it should be home to some other structure the kids might enjoy–like a spiffy piece of playground equipment? Or should it just be covered in grass seed or sod and be done with?
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