Construction Update
The Park is Dead, Long Live Bennett Park

Bennett Park under construction, as seen from the roof of Moment (Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!)

Bennett Park under construction, as seen from the roof of Moment (Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!)

There’s not a lot of green space in Streeterville, and these days there’s a little less of it.  That’s because the park that once existed on the block bounded by East Grand Avenue, North Peshtigo Court, East Illinois Street, and North McClurg Court is no more.

Construction crews have completely scraped the park from the roof of the parking garage it once concealed, as you can see in the photos above and below from Joe Zekas at YoChicago!

In time there will be a brand new park at this location, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.  You may remember MVVA from such hits as Maggie Daley Park and The 606.

Bennett Park, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh (Courtesy of Related Midwest)

Bennett Park, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh (Courtesy of Related Midwest)

The developer, Related Midwest, describes the park thusly:

Bennett Park will be a distinctive new open space that welcomes and accommodates the daily activity of urban life. The new landscape will provide experiential range through topography, plants, and a variety of uses. Rolling topography will make a lawn bowl for casual use and gatherings; children’s active play will be accommodated in a play bowl that will also be comfortable for adults; a hilltop grove will provide prospect and shade; and dog owners will have the convenience of an accessible dog run at the park’s edge.

Following Chicago’s city motto of Urbs in Horto, Latin for “City in a Garden,”​ the Bennett Park will have diverse plantings that offer interest in every season. The Park will continue the tradition established in nearby open space, such as Navy Pier and Millennium Park, of being inviting and accessible to surrounding neighbors while also contributing to the city’s overall livability.

The 1.7 acre park comes with a bonus 69-story, 836-foot-tall residential skyscraper stack pack — apartments on the bottom, condos on top.  The tower was designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects of New York, with GREC being the local executive architect.  You can see the skyscraper in zygote form in the construction photos as the L-shaped area cordoned off by the orange and white Jersey barriers.  The tower, itself, will run east-west along Grand Avenue, with the Illinois Street extension holding the amenities deck aloft.

Bennett Park under construction, as seen from the roof of the Lofts at River East (Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!)

Bennett Park under construction, as seen from the roof of the Lofts at River East (Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!)

Location: 451 East Grand Avenue, Streeterville

Editor

Author: Editor

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

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