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.