Grant Park Renovation Plans Go Underground

North Grant Park replacement plans

The latest plans for replacing the northern portion of Grant Park are on display.  Large display panels went up on the Pedway level of Block37 last night, allowing people who normally aren’t able to attend the Grant Park meetings to see what’s coming.

This is part of the Chicago Park District’s attempt to let people know what’s going on before it surprises and angers them, and to solicit more public input.  An estimated 40,000 use the connector between the CTA Red and Blue lines at Jackson each day, and it would not be surprising to learn that the same number ply this piece of Pedway as well.

More importantly, it was nice to see WLS-TV down there, taking an interest in news in the city other than murders and restaurant reviews.  WBBM-TV has been to previous North Grant Park events, and likely attended this one as well, since it’s in the same building, and does a good job of covering news in its city of license.  WGN-TV ran a quick video clip that looked like it was shot by a stringer (meaning the station, itself, couldn’t be bothered to go), and provided zero information.

This is at least the third revision to the North Grant Park plan, which has been the subject of public meetings for the last couple of years. The drawings on the boards don’t look all that much different from what we’ve seen in the past, which hopefully means that the plans are firming up, and just in the nick of time, as construction is due to begin in the next couple of months.

For more information on the project, check out our previous coverage, or just enjoy the latest batch of pictures in the gallery below.

Previous coverage:


Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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  1. I was there yesterday as well! looks very promising-

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    • Editor

      Unfortunately, change is difficult for a lot of people, and there is a very vocal minority against this project. They’re used to the old method of urban landscaping, which is very European and traditional, and hasn’t changed in 400 years. This is a chance for the Park District to do its first large-scale modern park residential park (Millennium is for tourists in both design and use). Based on the success of its small-scale attempts (Adams and Sangamon Park, and others), I think this could be really well done.

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  2. The current playground is very popular with swings, slides, and allows parents to enjoy the fun with young children. The new children’s playground is gimmicky, and will not allow the kids to run and play. It looks like a series of
    programmed displays which kids will tire of quickly.

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