Construction Update
Argo Tea Pavilion and Connors Park

Argo Tea Pavilion construction at Connors Park

The rebuilding of Connors Park in the city’s Gold Coast neighborhood continues apace.  The old, mostly concrete park has been jackhammered away, and in its place a glass barn… umm, greenhouse… umm, pavilion has been erected.

Into this pavilion will go an Argo Tea house.  The Chicago company is paying for the entire project, which includes rehabbing the park.

The tea house will operate year-round, and be a welcome haven in both hot and cold weather.  And even though the park will be run and maintained by Argo, the language of the beverage company’s agreement with the Chicago Park District is very specific — This is still a public park, and anyone can hang out inside or outside the pavilion without having to buy anything.

This park was formerly a favorite toilet and sleeping area for local vagrants, so it will be interesting to see if they return to their haunt, or move on.  Perhaps the new setup will make the park more popular with local residents and provide an incentive for the hobos to shuffle on, or perhaps an incentive for cup-shakers to hang out there, knowing the people have change from buying tea.


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 I was visibly shaken when discovered that our beautiful neighborhood park had vanished and had been replaced by an Argo Tea with outdoor seating. The fountain my kids played around is now inside the store.

    This is no longer a public space. It looks like an Argo Tea with outdoor seating with Argo Tea umbrellas.

    Yes, there were homeless but no more than at the Lutheran church up the street of anywhere else in the neighborhood and calling this beautiful little park a toilet for vagrants would make even Edward Bernays himself blush.

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  2. Hi! Thanks for the great article. Do you know where I can find the language of the agreement between Argo and The Parks District. Thanks!

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    • Editor

      Good question. Since the Parks District is quasi-independent from the City of Chicago, I don’t know if it would be kept in the usual places with the Clerk’s office. Check with Alderman Reilly’s office. The people there should know where you can look it up.

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  3. My family owned a tavern in the area for about 75yrs. I used to play in that park as a child and attend Memorial Day services held there by George Dunne and the local American Legion post. I called it my Uncles park because his name is on a plaque there as one of the neighborhood lads who lost his life fighting for our country in WWII. I feared the changes to the park & that ‘they’ would remove the memorial, so far so good but I do not like the Argo tea thing. Another case of money over what’s morally right.

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