Chicago Crowdsources a Skate Park

written by:
March 21, 2014
Skaters, bikers, and a park advocate are breaking new ground in Chicago's Grant Park. Read Full Article
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  Chicago Skate and Wheel Park
When it’s finished later this year, the proposed three-acre, plaza-style skate and wheel park at Roosevelt, near the south end of Grant Park, will feature an array of design elements reflecting both the needs of skaters and BMX bikers and the history of the site.
    Chicago Skate and Wheel Park

    When it’s finished later this year, the proposed three-acre, plaza-style skate and wheel park at Roosevelt, near the south end of Grant Park, will feature an array of design elements reflecting both the needs of skaters and BMX bikers and the history of the site.

  • 
  Chicago Skate and Wheel Park
Set to be built on the site of the now demolished Central Station, a nine-story building and clock tower constructed for the 1893 Columbian Exposition, the skate park plans by Altamanu Architects call for a structure resembling a train platform, with a pedestrian bridge overlooking the park. Limestone pieces left over from the towering station will be incorporated into the design. O’Neill wants to add railroad rails for skaters to use, as well as skateable sculptures and railroad ties.
    Chicago Skate and Wheel Park

    Set to be built on the site of the now demolished Central Station, a nine-story building and clock tower constructed for the 1893 Columbian Exposition, the skate park plans by Altamanu Architects call for a structure resembling a train platform, with a pedestrian bridge overlooking the park. Limestone pieces left over from the towering station will be incorporated into the design. O’Neill wants to add railroad rails for skaters to use, as well as skateable sculptures and railroad ties.

  • 
  Chicago Skate and Wheel Park
While the Chicago Park District Board just approved the plan last week, there’s still a lot of work to be done on the estimated $2.5 million project (a deadline to utilize money from a TIF, or tax increment finance district, means the project has to be built this year). It’s been a long time in the making, according to Alan Butella, owner of local skateboarding company Character and one of the community representatives who’s worked with O’Neill.

“It’s the biggest project for skating the city has taken on,” he says. “It’s been a big pipe dream to build this park.”
    Chicago Skate and Wheel Park

    While the Chicago Park District Board just approved the plan last week, there’s still a lot of work to be done on the estimated $2.5 million project (a deadline to utilize money from a TIF, or tax increment finance district, means the project has to be built this year). It’s been a long time in the making, according to Alan Butella, owner of local skateboarding company Character and one of the community representatives who’s worked with O’Neill.

    “It’s the biggest project for skating the city has taken on,” he says. “It’s been a big pipe dream to build this park.”

  • 
  Chicago Skate and Wheel Park
The proposed skate and wheel park going up later this year is a coup, both for the city skating and biking community, which rallied around the concept, and Bob O’Neill, head of the Grant Park Advisory Council and Conservancy, who has shepherded this plan forward while integrating community feedback at every step, a model of crowdsourced public planning.
    Chicago Skate and Wheel Park

    The proposed skate and wheel park going up later this year is a coup, both for the city skating and biking community, which rallied around the concept, and Bob O’Neill, head of the Grant Park Advisory Council and Conservancy, who has shepherded this plan forward while integrating community feedback at every step, a model of crowdsourced public planning.

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