Zero Energy Rec Center Lands in Southwest Suburbs
May21

Zero Energy Rec Center Lands in Southwest Suburbs

It only makes sense that an organization dedicated to parks should try its hardest to be environmentally responsible. In southwest suburban Plainfield, the park district has opened a new Net Zero community building. PARC (Courtesy of Wight & Company) It’s called PARC, which stands for Prairie Activity and Recreation Center, and is located in a park: Gregory B. Bott Park. The facility sports an oversized gymnasium, a fitness...

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Refreshed Park May Sort of Honor One of Chicago’s Oddest People
May20

Refreshed Park May Sort of Honor One of Chicago’s Oddest People

There are lots of neighborhoods in Chicago that are short on parks. Streeterville is short two of them. First, there’s the long-promised, never-delivered, and no longer radioactive DuSable Park. City Hall has been promising that patch of greenery to its citizens since the Washington administration (Harold, not George). Bennett Park under construction (Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!) Then there’s the park that’s...

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The View From Grant Park Keeps A-Changin’
Mar20

The View From Grant Park Keeps A-Changin’

If you’ve gone to a festival, played softball, or just walked around Grant Park in the last decade or so, you’ve been a first-hand witness to the changing of Chicago’s skyline. 340 On The Park, The Legacy, Heritage At Millennium Park, Roosevelt University’s Wabash Building, Trump International Hotel and Tower, and the 300 East Randolph vertical expansion all added drama to the park border. Chicago skyline...

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Chicago Harbors Already Getting Ready for Summer
Mar18

Chicago Harbors Already Getting Ready for Summer

It’s officially spring, but you’d never know it around here. While we’re still freezing our Vienna Sausages off, preparations are already underway for the summer boating season. Chicago Harbors is busy with the first of three phases of a seven million dollar renovation across the city’s 6,000-slip harbor network, which is supposed to be the largest in the world, if you believe Wikipedia. Burnham Harbor dock...

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Obama Center Approved by Council, but Challenges Remain
Nov05

Obama Center Approved by Council, but Challenges Remain

Chicago city council has approved an ordinance that spells out how the Barack Obama Presidential Center will become a reality. The Cliff’s Notes version is that the Obama Foundation must raise money to build the museum, then raise more money for an endowment to run it, then build the museum, then give the facility to City Hall, along with ten bucks.  That’s a rent of 10¢ a year, for 99 years. Even though several aldermen...

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New Paperwork Details the Conditions for Chicago’s Obama Presidential Center 
Sep25

New Paperwork Details the Conditions for Chicago’s Obama Presidential Center 

Paperwork has been filed that moves the Barack Obama Presidential Center a little closer to reality. The Chicago department of Planning and Development introduced an ordinance that includes master, use, and environmental agreements between the city of the Obama Foundation. Federal reviews of the project are underway, and the Foundation hopes to break ground on the 20-acre project in Jackson Park next year.  You may remember the...

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Take a Trip Back In Time With The Chicago Park District
Sep10

Take a Trip Back In Time With The Chicago Park District

Two of Chicago’s most valuable — and under-appreciated — public amenities have gotten together to enhance your love of the Windy City.  The Chicago Park District has donated 10,000 historic photographs of the city’s parks to the Chicago Public Library, which has made them available to see for free on the intarwebs. This is where your journey down the rabbit hole...

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Rahm’s “Meigs Moment:” Not-Yet-Approved Obama Center Leaving a Premature Scar on Jackson Park
Aug08

Rahm’s “Meigs Moment:” Not-Yet-Approved Obama Center Leaving a Premature Scar on Jackson Park

Remember in 2003 when former mayor Richard M. Daley bulldozed Meigs Field in the middle of the night?  It was an act of hubris that cost the city $33,000 in federal fines and a million dollars in misspent airport funds.  At the time, the Chicago Tribune wrote, “The issue is Daley’s increasingly authoritarian style that brooks no disagreements, legal challenges, negotiations, compromise or any of that messy give-and-take...

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What Summer Looks Like in Chicago: 2018 Edition
Jun25

What Summer Looks Like in Chicago: 2018 Edition

About a decade ago we ran a series of articles showing the rooftop pools of various buildings around downtown Chicago.  It was a great taste of urban life during the lazy days of the year. Now that the first full week of summer is here, we present a selection of photos from around the city showing updated views of the parks, roofs, balconies, pools, and other places where Chicagoans spend their free time in the sunshine. Be sure to...

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Obama Presidential Center on Today’s Agenda
May17

Obama Presidential Center on Today’s Agenda

The Obama Presidential Center has caught what the British call “the American disease.”  That means a lawsuit. The proposal to slurp up a chunk of Jackson Park and close some neighboring streets has neighbors so upset, they’re going to ask a judge to stop it. If you’ve been following this saga, you know that the Obama Foundation ruffled feathers when it decided that instead of using the abundant vacant private...

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