Everyone is expecting big things from the new Maggie Daley Park. But unless you were there decades ago when the park was originally built at Daley Bicentennial Plaza, you might not have expected what’s there now— pyramids and piles of giant white foam blocks.
Collectively, it’s known as geofoam, and the hills and valleys and interesting topographic bits of the park get their shape thanks to this stuff, which goes under the dirt and rocks and trees and children. Since the bottom of Maggie Daley Park is the roof of the Monroe Street parking garage, weight is a consideration. Big blocks of geofoam are much lighter than big piles of dirt. And durable? Believe it or not, construction crews are actually using many of the old geofoam cubes that were planted in this location in the 1970’s to make up the old park.
If you’d like to see another example of a geofoam installation, check out the meandering lumps and crannies that swirl around Solider Field.
If the presence of geofoam blocks made you suspect that the waterproof membrane is in place, you’re right. The roof of the parking garage is done, and now the focus is on the park. You can see the foundations of some of the larger features already.
Word on the street (in the grass?) is that construction on Maggie Daley Park is ever-so-slightly ahead of schedule, with some speculation that parts might even be available to the public by October of 2014.