What Friends of the Parks Sees for Chicago in 2019

It’s the time of year when everything useful has pretty much wrapped up, and all that’s left to do is balance the books and figure out who to blame for sticking you with rotisserie chicken-flavored candy canes as a Secret Santa present.

So looking ahead to next year, we asked a selection of Chicagoans what they expect 2019 to bring.  Here are five predictions from Juanita Irizzary, Executive Director of Friends of the Parks:

  1. Obama Presidential Center model (Courtesy of the Obama Foundation)

    Obama Presidential Center model (Courtesy of the Obama Foundation)

    The Obama Foundation decides that being a “good neighbor” includes committing to paying for a new baseball facility in Woodlawn, since they’re displacing a baseball field in Jackson Park; and a new field house in Jackson Park, since it will be unseemly to have a crumbling park building across from the new Obama Presidential Center recreational facility.

  2. Related Midwest and Alderman Reilly come to some agreement, and Chicago will finally set in motion a development on the old Spire Site that will lead to DuSable Park becoming a reality.
  3. Our next mayor makes sure that a deal gets done for former-USX site redevelopment such that Chicago finally gets on the path to full environmental clean-up, appropriate community and economic development for the long-neglected southeast side, and beautiful lake front and river front parks along that parcel, in alignment with Friends of the Parks’ Last 4 Miles Initiative vision.
  4. New mayoral and Chicago Park District leadership apply an equity framework to their park planning, like park leader Minneapolis already does, and we make good progress toward more equitable distribution of resources across the Chicago Park District.
  5. The Chicago Park District decides that it makes no sense for them not to accept into their public park portfolio the green spaces proposed at Lincoln Yards by Sterling Bay and The 78 by Related Midwest, now that both of those developers have publicly stated that rather than keep them as privately-owned public spaces, they are willing to give them to the park district AND pay for the maintenance.
Rendering of The 78's Education Hub and Riverwalk (Architecture firms: SOM and 3XN, rendering by ICON)

Rendering of The 78’s Education Hub and Riverwalk (Architecture firms: SOM and 3XN, rendering by ICON)

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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