Northerly Island's next steps

10/29/2009 2:06 PM

By Micah Maidenberg

9 Comments - Add Your Comment

Chicago Journal file art

The future of Northerly Island will be discussed at a meeting on November 10, according to the Grant Park Advisory Council.
The session is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and will be held at the Spertus Institute, 610 S. Michigan.
For years, Northerly Island hosted Meigs Field before the city demolished the small airport in March 2003. The site is mostly clear now, save the Charter One Pavilion. Chicago's defunct Olympic bid suggested using the site for boat competitions, like kayaking and canoeing, and volleyball.
The Chicago Park District approved a $394,500 contract Nov. 1, 2007 for JJR to create a framework plan for the 91-acre island. Studio Gang Architects has also been drawing up plans for Northerly as part of the JJR contract.
Preservation Chicago, a historic preservationist advocacy group, placed the Meigs Field Terminal Building, one of the last remnants of the old airport, on their list of the seven most endangered buildings in Chicago for 2009.
Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation uses part of the terminal building to save birds that are hurt when they fly into buildings downtown.
"We did not get the 2016 Olympics," said Bob O'Neill, president of the Grant Park Advisory Council. "It's time to start get planning done for Northerly Island."
O'Neill said there will be workshops and a chance for residents to give feedback on various design ideas.
"They all have a nature focus," he said.

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By Let's Get Rid of the Whole Bunch from Northerly Islnd & Grant Park Belong to the People,
Posted: 11/14/2009 8:43 PM

Bravo 4Ever. Sell out is right, as the people of Chicago were overwhelmingly against the Children's Museum Land Grab. But Bob O. supported it like he supports everything else that Daley's crony developers want. The real sellout prize however goes to that other Bob - Mr. Flip-Flop Fioretti - who back stabbed the People's Hero Ald. Brendan (William Wallace) Reilly when he voted for the CM Land Grab after he said he wouldn't. Fioretti's broken promises WILL come back to haunt him!!!

By here 4ever from South Loop
Posted: 11/14/2009 2:26 PM

Bob, I have done quite a lot for my community and neighborhood, and I have done it without the barrells full of money that you have received from the Park District and your corporate sponsors. I won't be lectured by a guy who sold out with his support of the Children's Museum relocation. Finally, as to Fioretti, it says he "got out of the car with a can of spraypaint to remove graffiti." Hello? You don't remove graffiti with spraypaint! You call graffiti blasters, as I do. Duh!

By Bob from Loop
Posted: 11/12/2009 9:56 AM

Dear here 4ever, Your negative and very inaccurate comments are typical from a negative person. It is easy to "arm-chair" it from afar and criticize but what do you do for your community? By the way, in terms of corporate interests, recently BlueCross BlueShield pulled their sponsorship of Grant Park because they did not like a position we are taking. So if you think we are going to support or oppose projects and ideas because of funds you are sadly mistaken. There is no integrity in that and it would dumb-down the good things that we stand for and support or bad things we oppose. IN another blog, I saw you criticized Bob Fioretti for removing graffiti? What? How could you do that? - he did what I do and get graffiti removed and that helps improve our quality of life. You should be grateful and thankful. Your kicking back and just criticizing is just boring and tiresome.

By Daniel from South Loop
Posted: 11/07/2009 9:12 AM

So Bob are you saying that you would not object to there being a separate Advisory Council for Northerly Island that is separate from the Grant Park Conservancy? Seems the Park District is being hypocritical (in spirit and legally) by allowing one Advisory council to oversee these multiple parks (including museum campus, etc)

By here 4ever from South Loop
Posted: 11/06/2009 8:18 PM

O'Neill's Grant Park Conservancy is funded by corporate interests, and as a result never does anything that does not meet their seal of approval. Sure, you can "help out" but it always must be on his terms. Ha I am still trying to figure out how the Park District allows a guy who runs this "conservancy" to concurrently run the Grant Park Advisory Council. Oh wait, he always does what the Mayor wants him to do. Therefore, the Park District allows this farce to continue. Silly me.

By Make you voice heard from All across the city
Posted: 11/05/2009 4:04 PM

To offer a synthesis comment, both Daniel & Bob are in one sense correct. To Daniel's point, Northerly Island is technically not Grant Park, so there's no reason why a separate advisory council with different leaders cannot be formed. It can and probably should. To Bob's point however, the Grant Park Advisory Council has taken it upon itself to "get in there and do something." And as long as GPAC is the only one saying & doing anything about N.I., they will have a larger role in the outcome.

By Bob from Downtown
Posted: 11/05/2009 1:24 PM

Daniel, Just get involved like we do. Instead of complaining - do! We do and get great things done. You should be happy we are helping, are you?

By Conor from Humboldt Pk
Posted: 11/02/2009 9:56 PM

Had a picnic there with my wife last summer. Loved the tall grass and the quiet feeling of abandonment. Knew that olympics or not, it's going to be "planned". No one's complaining, leave it be. This is one thing I'm glad da mare did.

By Daniel from South Loop
Posted: 11/01/2009 8:20 PM

How is it that Grant Park Advisory Council has anything to say about the plans for Northerly Island? It specifically says in Park District code that the Advisory councils should be separate, and the Park District would not allow this for neighborhood parks. A separate council should be formed for this park.