Wayback Wednesday: Time Freezes on Chicago Avenue

This Wednesday we skate back in time ten years to February 12, 2010.  The place is Chicago Avenue at Seneca Playground Park.  

Seneca Park clocktower, February 12, 2010
Seneca Park clocktower, February 12, 2010

In the foreground we see the park’s clock tower, about which we could find exactly zero information in our usual sources or on the intarwebs.

In the background, we can see Children’s Memorial Hospital still a little bit under construction.

This parkling used to be part of Lake Shore Park, and stretched all the way to Lake Shore Drive.  In 1915, the State of Illinois ate a chunk of Lake Shore Park to build an armory, which is now the location of the Museum of Contemporary Art.  Because of this, the cleaved off Seneca is today owned by the City of Chicago, and the City of Chicago Water Fund still leases the property to the Chicago Park District.

It’s a good spot for a bit of lunchtime people watching, with plenty of shady benches, and occasionally romantic couples will spread out a blanket on the suspiciously soggy grass.  If you’ve been there in the last 30 years, you’ve probably seen Ben, the horse sculpture by Debra Butterfield.  He looks like he’s made of wood, but Ben is actually bronze.  If you don’t believe me, go out there tomorrow and stick your tongue to him.

Location: 220 East Chicago Avenue, Gold Coast

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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