Mark Your Calendar — You Have a Date With Maggie Park
Dec08

Mark Your Calendar — You Have a Date With Maggie Park

Friend-of-the-blog, Richard Ward, the president of the New Eastside Association of Residents tells us and everyone else on his mailing list that Maggie Daley Park  (337 East Randolph Street) will be open to the public January 5, 2015.  This is a soft opening. It’s like an out-of-town preview.  Which means, yes you will be able to enjoy the activities, but no, there won’t be a ribbon cutting with politicians and fireworks...

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Video: Mighty Morphin’ Maggie Park
Dec01

Video: Mighty Morphin’ Maggie Park

It’s hard to believe, it’s been two years since construction began on what will very soon become Maggie Daley Park (337 East Randolph Street).  In fact, the two-year anniversary was two weeks ago, when Loop Spy Daniel e-mailed us to let us know that there is a time-lapse video of the construction project from start of work all the way to today. If you have a little under five minutes to spare, it’s a fascinating...

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Better Than a Parking Lot, But Is This the Museum Chicago’s Looking For?
Nov04

Better Than a Parking Lot, But Is This the Museum Chicago’s Looking For?

  The people behind the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art have released their vision of a new lakefront home.  The controversial museum would be located near Soldier Field in the Chicago’s Museum Campus.  Preservationists see the construction of any new structure along the city’s downtown shoreline as an affront, pushing instead to protect the surface parking lot which currently occupies the site. The early drawings of...

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Slice of Life: The Fountain of You
Aug11

Slice of Life: The Fountain of You

  Chicago is a city in a garden, and that garden’s city has a number of great fountains.  The big bad daddy of them all is, of course, Buckingham Fountain.  Broad enough to entertain throngs of tourists, and bold enough to set the stage for Al Bundy. This photo of the behemoth bubbler was captured by our own Bill Motchan, in a 35-second exposure that turned the spatters and gurgles into smooth flowing ribbons of liquid...

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Millennium Park Turns 10; Demands Cake
Jul29

Millennium Park Turns 10; Demands Cake

Millennium Park recently turned ten years old.  In spite of what anyone might think about the price tag, the location, the target audience, or the (alleged!) corruption involved, it’s hard to deny that the park is a success.  It’s become a focal point for the city’s tourist industry, and a symbol of the city on everything from tote bags to web site logos around the world. While Millennium Park is ten-years-old, this...

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Lucas Picks a Pair of Rising Starchitects for His Chicago Lakefront Museum
Jul28

Lucas Picks a Pair of Rising Starchitects for His Chicago Lakefront Museum

They wanted iconic.  They wanted different.  And it seems the people behind the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art have picked talent matching those parameters to design the new museum on Chicago’s Lakefront. First up is a known local quantity.  Jeanne Gang burst onto Chicago’s architectural scene with her beautiful-on-the-outside, mediocre-on-the-inside tower Aqua (225 North Columbus Drive).  Aqua’s undulating...

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Slice of Life: Chicago on a Black-and-White Rail
Jul28

Slice of Life: Chicago on a Black-and-White Rail

They’ve been pared back, decked over, repurposed, and there was even once a proposal to turn the whole shebang into a field of wildflowers; but Chicago’s lakefront railroad tracks continue to carry thousands of people into and out of the city each day. Chris Benning sent in this photograph of the tracks as they glide through Grant Park before slipping under the Art Institute of Chicago and disappearing into the...

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Status Update: The First Tree is Planted in Maggie Daley Park
Jul03

Status Update: The First Tree is Planted in Maggie Daley Park

It’s been a long 21 months since construction began at the future site of Maggie Daley Park. When complete, it should be a spectacular addition to the city’s park system and a facility that can be used all year round. For months we’ve watched as the space went from a traditional urban park to a mud pit to a concrete roof to a foam fortress then back to mud. And now it’s starting to really take shape. In the...

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A Nod to Train Stations Past and Bocce Courts of the Future
Jun18

A Nod to Train Stations Past and Bocce Courts of the Future

  Construction continues on the new Grant Park Skate Park, just south of the 11th Street pedestrian bridge over the Metra Electric District railroad tracks. For the last 11 months, we’ve covered the plans for transforming this three-acre plot of land from an unused grassy embankment into a recreational space. The skating portion is actually 20 feet below the Michigan Avenue grade, with paths and ramps leading down to the grinding...

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Grant Park Skate Park Grinding Ahead [updated]
May16

Grant Park Skate Park Grinding Ahead [updated]

The Chicago Plan Commission has approved the construction of a new skate park complex at the south end of Grant Park (using the address 300 East 11th Street). The project initially included features such as a small amphitheater and other unusual features.  But as the plan evolved, it was scaled back and is now a more traditional skate park. Bob O’Neil of the Grant Park Conservancy sent us these thoughts on the project: This has...

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