From its wide open green space to its intimate seating areas that have produced numerous design awards, the park initially and ultimately might best be described as a special front yard to the thousands of people who live and work in and near Lakeshore East. Developed by Magellan Development Group as part of the Lakeshore East master-planned community, this crown jewel of the “village in the heart of the city”, the park was dedicated to the city in 2005 and is now park of the Chicago Park District. It features more than 500 planted trees of more than 20 varieties and more than 100 varieties of plants and flowers. Ornamental gardens scattered around the park provide a mixture of textures and capture seasonal changes.
A collection of lighted fountains animate the park and provides a spectacular evening display through the shimmering and reflection of lights on the water. These water gardens are ultimately the crescendo of the park.
In addition to its ornamental and water gardens are two other highly acclaimed features, a children’s play park and dog park that enhance a unique environmental experience.
The gated children’s park includes interactive water features and play structures on colorful surfaces, some made out of recycled tires. The area is bordered by shade arbors and seating for parents to observe children in close proximity. The centerpiece is a spray fountain that children can run through and enjoy.
The dog park was designed with the goal of assuring mutual enjoyment for dogs and their owners. There are places in the gated and fenced park for owners to observe their pets from clear vantage points. In addition to special water features that run through the park and supply fresh drinking water for the dogs the topography has been varied with berms and pathways that entertain and delight the pets.
The long list of awards to the park that took four years to create includes Best Open Space and Best New Park in Chicago.