New Chicago Attraction Dedicated to First-Class Lady

August 27, 2012

The city is honoring someone very special with 20 acres of prime Chicago real estate.

A new, multifunctional park will be constructed in North Grant Park and named Maggie Daley Park, after the former First Lady of Chicago.

a rendering of the maggie daley park

A portion of the new Maggie Daley Park.

Situated between Millennium Park and Lake Shore Drive — an area considered to be Chicago’s collective front yard — the redevelopment will include multi-sensory landscaping, rock-climbing sculptures, an ice-skating “ribbon” or lane, a play garden, picnic groves and multiple event spaces.

Maggie Daley, wife of long-time Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, died last November at the age of 68 after a long battle with breast cancer. She was very active in the city, especially in matters concerning the arts, culture and Chicago’s youth.

The tribute that will be constructed in her honor, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, “will be a world-class park named after a world-class lady.

“This new park will be a new jewel on Chicago’s lakefront, attracting visitors from Chicago and across the country to our vibrant downtown,” said Emanuel.

“The beauty of this park and the number of amenities for children and families are a fitting tribute to a woman who gave so much of her own time to beautifying our City and improving the lives of children and young people.”

Construction will begin this fall on the $55 million project, which is bordered by Columbus Drive, Randolph Street, Monroe Street and, of course, Lake Shore Drive.

Currently named Daley Bicentennial Park, after Chicago’s first Mayor Daley, the park must be ripped up anyway to make repairs to the East Monroe Street Parking Garage, which is located underneath.

A majority of the funds for the project — $35 million — is coming from a lease deal with the parking garages under Millennium Park and Grant Park. About $10 million will be privately raised funds, and the remaining $10 million will be covered by the parkways foundation and the park district.

Maggie Daley Park is slated to be completed by 2015.

“Maggie Daley’s commitment to our city’s young people was unparalleled,” said Cindy Mitchell, former Board Commissioner of the Chicago Park District and co-founder of Friends of the Parks, who worked with Maggie Daley for many years.

“Through her work, she inspired so many of us to serve others. Her legacy will live on in this park.”

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