For the last week, construction crews have been putting up concrete Jersey barriers and chain-link fences around the northeast corner of Grant Park — the section soon to be known as Maggie Daley Park.
It’s the first step in what will be a long process of removing the park, fixing the parking garage roof beneath, and then replacing the park. The Cancer Survivor’s Memorial Garden will remain open, and we saw several people in there over the weekend — smoking. The local homeless population has been spotted arguing over how to divvy up the remaining public turf, and local dog walkers have already found ways around the fencing, though they may change their mind about that strategy once the trees start coming down.
Bob O’Neill over at the Grant Park Conservancy sent out an e-mail blast last week letting people know what the status is of the park’s trees, and what we can expect when everything is done in 2015:
- There are a total of 877 trees in the construction site including Peanut Park to the east where the existing Daley Bi soil will be stored.
- 336 are ornamental trees: currently crab apple trees and magnolia.
- 541 are shade trees: currently honey locust, white ash, elm, Norway maple.
- 160 of the mature trees will be reused in the new children’s play area.
- 256 honey locust are currently at Daley Bicentennial Plaza. This is not good in that there is little diversity.
- 1000 new trees will be planted in the new Maggie Daley Park.
- 38-40 trees will be saved at Peanut Park.
- The trees at the small golf course on Monroe will be saved.
We have covered the progression of this project in detail over the last five years. One of our articles, addressing NIMBY concerns is actually one of our most popular articles of all time. If you’d like more background than the 40 or so articles we’ve done on the subject, here’s a link to the official North Grant Park web site.