MAYOR EMANUEL, CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT JOIN MEMBERS OF DALEY FAMILY TO FORMALLY DEDICATE MAGGIE DALEY PARK
Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined members of the Daley family, Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly and community leaders to formally dedicate Maggie Daley Park and celebrate its completion.
“Maggie Daley reflected the best of who we are as a city, and this park is a reflection of who she was as a person: graceful, full of life and one-of-a-kind,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This beautiful park has become a distinctive presence in the city and is just the latest investment we’re making in public spaces throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods. From the newly opened 606 Trail to planned enhancements to Jackson Park, we’re working to ensure that every community has an anchor that provides a richer quality of life for residents.”
Portions of the park, including the renovated fieldhouse and the JB and MK Pritzker Family Skating Ribbon opened to the public last fall. The highly anticipated Malkin-Sacks Climbing Walls debuted last month. The remaining areas of Maggie Daley Park, including portions of the three-acre play garden and expanded landscaping, are now complete. The play garden can host up to 600 children at one time; on Saturday, June 6, the play area hosted more than 8,000 people over the course of the day.
“We are so excited to formally dedicate this park to the people of Chicago,” said Superintendent Kelly. “The full completion of Maggie Daley Park offers residents and tourists, particularly children, a unique park experience and a lasting tribute to our city’s former first lady.”
Maggie Daley Park offers unique new types of open space and activities to the programmatic range of Grant Park as a whole. The 20-acre park boasts signature elements like rock-climbing sculptures, a skating ribbon and a three-acre play garden. In addition to these special features, the park also includes a variety of event spaces such as three large open lawn areas, a smaller lawn panel and café space. The park also will have picnic groves that can be used for smaller groups, such as birthday parties.
The J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Skating Ribbon, which opened as a skating rink last fall, will be available to the public in non-ice skating months for walking, running, roller skates/blades and scooters. Like Millennium Park, no bikes are allowed in Maggie Daley Park.
Maggie Daley Park is bordered by Columbus Drive, Randolph Street, Monroe Street and Lake Shore Drive. The $60 million park, which includes the cost of repairs to the existing parking garage, was funded with $38 million from the Chicago Park District and $22 million in private donations. Nearly 250 construction jobs were created by this project, and approximately 60 permanent jobs have been created to sustain the park.
Peanut Park, a planned 5.2 acre park adjacent to Maggie Daley Park, will be completed in 2015. Additionally, a restaurant in Maggie Daley Park is slated for completion in late 2016; the restaurant will replace the previous restaurant that was located there.
Today’s dedication included free family activities and performances by Midnight Circus, Redmoon Theater, Chicago Improv Productions and more. Additionally, the event unveiled the world premiere of an original classical music piece commemorating the life of Mrs. Daley. The piece was envisioned as a way for the city to celebrate the new park in full bloom and to cement Mrs. Daley’s legacy in Chicago’s history. After School Matters choir and Chicago Children’s Choir – with the majority of their members attending Chicago Public Schools – were chosen to perform the choral piece and to perform at the dedication event due to their ties to Mrs. Daley and their high performance standard. Composer Augusta “Gusty” Reed Thomas was chosen for her unique style and commitment to Chicago. Steppenwolf playwright Tarell McCraney had a personal connection to Mrs. Daley and jumped at the chance to compose lyrics for this piece. Another hometown group, Third Coast Percussion, provides the musical accompaniment to Gusty’s new piece.
The Chicago Park District offers a full menu of summer programs at Maggie Daley Fieldhouse, including summer day camp, fitness, archery, early childhood, arts, nature, dance and sports as well as a focus on teen programming. To view or register for programming, go to http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/.
For more information, visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com or call 312.742.PLAY, 312.747.2001 (TTY).
The Chicago Park District is the 2014 Gold Medal Award winner, recognized for excellence in park and recreation management across the nation. For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,300 acres of parkland, 585 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 12 museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, nearly 50 nature areas, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com or contact the Chicago Park District at 312/742.PLAY or 312/747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling, 312/742.PLAY.