With the warmer weather, and the shedding of masks, come thoughts of being outdoors. Preferably, someplace green. Soon, downtown Chicagoans will have a new slice of veldt upon which to throw blankets and catch rays: Cascade Park.
Named for the skyscraper that sprouts next to it, the privately owned public space is part of a project cultivating three residential skyscrapers on the southwest corner of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.
Magellan Development and Lendlease are the hallmarks on this slice of sterling, which clocks in at 80% of a full acre, and perches atop 3,000 cubic yards of geofoam hill. That hill descends 50 feet from Upper North Harbor Drive down to Lower North Lake Shore Drive. The whole shebang was designed by Claude Cormier + Associés.
Cascade Park is what finally, and properly, connects Lakeshore East with Chicago’s lakefront. This has been a problematic area for decades, as tourists and locals alike had to navigate a wasteland to get between two places that so logically should be connected.
While the full park doesn’t debut until August, the lakeshore link opened over the weekend, finally allowing people to walk between the two green spaces without having to traverse the set of a CSI show.