Maggie Daley Park

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Maggie Daley Park
Maggie Daley Park 2014.JPG
December 2014
Type Urban park
Location Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois
Coordinates 41°53′03.0″N 87°37′08.6″W / 41.884167°N 87.619056°W / 41.884167; -87.619056 (Maggie Daley Park)Coordinates: 41°53′03.0″N 87°37′08.6″W / 41.884167°N 87.619056°W / 41.884167; -87.619056 (Maggie Daley Park)
Area 25 acres (100,000 m2)
Created 2012–2015
Operated by Chicago Park District
Status Open all year (daily 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.)
Parking Underground
Public transit access Millennium Station

Maggie Daley Park is a 20-acre (81,000 m2) public park in the Loop community area of Chicago. It is near the Lake Michigan shoreline in northeastern Grant Park where Daley Bicentennial Plaza previously stood.[1][2] Designed by landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh, the park had its ceremonial ribbon cutting on December 13, 2014, and is named for Maggie Daley, the former first lady of the city who died in 2011.[3][4] This Grant Park section is bounded by Randolph Street, Monroe, Columbus and Lake Shore Drives.[5] The park, which cost $60 million, began construction two years before the 2014 opening.[6] It is connected to Millennium Park by the BP Pedestrian Bridge.[6]

Approval process[edit]

On August 26, 2012, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley announced plans for the park where a hotly contested children's museum plan had previously been attempted.[7] In 2008, the Chicago City Council had approved a $100 million plan to build the Chicago Children's Museum on the space, but legal contentions were expected to drag on regarding the use of parkland for such a structure.[8]


Preparations for construction began with closures of elements like the Daley Bicentennial field house and areas fenced off in September 2012.[9] By November, the removal of 877 aged crab apple, magnolia, white ash, elm and other varieties of trees began.[10] There were two stated purposes for the tree removal: the removal of the trees and soil would facilitate the repair of the underground East Monroe Street Parking Garage roof; the removal of the trees would make way for a healthier park with a broader variety of plants that were less susceptible to diseases.[10]


The park features a one-quarter-mile-long (0.40 km) ice skating ribbon, rock-climbing walls, metal light masts and playground equipment.[6] The park plans also include three open lawn areas, a lawn panel, a café space, and picnic groves.[8] The park was designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the landscape architects for the George W. Bush Presidential Center.[11]


Although the park initially had been planned as a pet-friendly zone, the decision was made to forbid dogs before it was opened.[12] In another controversy, 900 mature trees were removed in order for the construction of the park.[4] Notably 1000 young trees were planted to replace the trees that were removed.[6] Only 38 pre-existing trees were planned to survive the construction, while 160 of the removed trees were marked for recycling.[10]


  1. ^ Sfondeles, Tina (September 27, 2012). "Redeveloped Park to Be Named After Maggie Daley". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ Haggerty, Ryan (August 25, 2012). "'World-Class Park' to Honor Maggie Daley, 'a World-Class Lady'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ Rodriguez, Meredith; Secter, Bob & Eltagouri, Marwa (December 13, 2014). "Hundreds Attend Maggie Daley Park Ribbon-Cutting". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Rebik, Dana (December 13, 2014). "Maggie Daley Park's Skating Ribbon Opened Saturday". Chicago: WGN-TV. Retrieved February 10, 2015. 
  5. ^ Vivanco, Leonor (November 20, 2014). "Free Admission for Maggie Daley Park Ice Skating Ribbon; $12 Skate Rental". RedEye (Chicago). Retrieved February 10, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d Bowean, Lolly & Vivanco, Leonor (December 8, 2014). "As Part of Maggie Daley Park Opens, Tension on Its Look, Cost". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 10, 2015. 
  7. ^ Haggerty, Ryan (August 26, 2012). "Corner of Grant Park to Be Named for Maggie Daley: Mayor, Ex-Mayor Make Announcement About 20-Acre Site to Open in 2015". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 11, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Northeast Corner of Grant Park to Be Renamed for Maggie Daley". Chicago: WBBM-TV. August 25, 2012. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  9. ^ Meyerson, Ben (September 19, 2012). "North Grant Park Construction Prep Begins: Daley Bicentennial Field House Closed Saturday, Fencing Likely to Be up by Oct. 1". Chicago Journal. Retrieved February 11, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c Bowean, Lolly (November 12, 2012). "Trees Being Cleared from a Corner of Grant Park: Construction of Maggie Daley Park Begins with Removal of 877 Trees". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 11, 2015. 
  11. ^ Bey, Lee (April 24, 2013). "With an Obama Library on the Horizon, George W. Bush Center Gets Dedicated this Week". Chicago: WBEZ-FM. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Park District Bans Dogs from Maggie Daley Park". Chicago: WMAQ-TV. December 11, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2015. 

External links[edit]