The new Maggie Daley Park is both a major addition to Chicago's lakefront and a spur to questions as to what constitutes good park design. This post, the first of four, explores the park's best features.
|click images for larger view (recommended)
Major water leaks into the underground garage forced the park to be completely stripped away to make repairs. Daley saw that as a grand opportunity to cater to the monument-building ambitions of a Pritzker family heiress by giving a public park over to a private museum. The ensuing battle was ugly and prolonged, with Daley smearing construction opponents as racist child-haters. The coalition in favor of keeping the park, "Open, Free and Clear", however, was both broad and deep. The opposition poisoned the well for the museum's already anemic fund-raising skills and - combined with a major economic crash - ultimately persuaded the Children's Museum to stay at Navy Pier and improve its facilities there.
|Maggie Daley Park under construction
photography courtesy Bob Johnson
|(seriously dude, click for larger view)
These are the high places of Maggie Daley Park. But what of the valleys that lie between? And, seriously, what's the deal with these?
Next: Unleash the Mutant Mantises - At Maggie Daley Park, Michael Van Valkenburgh rethinks the Chicago lakefront park, Part Two.