Jazzing up a Chicago dog park

Fioretti proposes naming park for iconic passed saxophonist

03/23/2011 10:00 PM


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Fred Anderson

South Loop musical icon Fred Anderson, who died last summer, may get a very furry tribute from Chicago.

At a concert Tuesday night at the Jazz Showcase to honor what would have been Anderson’s 81st birthday, Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) announced he was proposing to name a new dog-focused park at 16th Street and Wabash Avenue after Anderson.

The park, which Chicago Park District says is currently in the planning stages, will feature a “dog-friendly area” — the park district’s term for parks designed with canines in mind.

The proposed park will also feature a performance area for musicians and others. It’s in the planning stages now, and the park district said they hope to begin construction on the park this year in order to open it in 2012.

A titan of the jazz scene for decades in Chicago, Anderson’s Velvet Lounge sat just six blocks away from the park on Cermak before it closed last winter, allegedly due to a family dispute.

In announcing that he would ask the Park District to name the new park for Anderson, Fioretti lauded the tenor saxophonist’s legacy.

“He brought people from all around the city and all around the world to the South Loop almost 30 years ago,” Fioretti said. “We hope that people will continue to learn from his example and enjoy both the fun and respite that this park will provide for generations to come.”

In his letter to Park District Superintendent Tim Mitchell, Fioretti said Anderson exemplified the criteria for emblazoning a park with someone’s name, by making “an extraordinary contribution to civic betterment, locally nationally, or internationally.”

Parks spokeswoman Zvezdana Kubat said the proposal could come before the park board at their April 13 meeting.

Concept A (left) for the new park has a pear-shaped design with a walking path around the dog areas, while Concept B has a water basin with a spray feature.

CONTACT: bmeyerson@chicagojournal.com

This article has been corrected from a previous version that appeared online and in print to reflect that the Chicago Park District's April board meeting will be held on April 13, not April 6.

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By Emanuel from Born and bred in Woodlawn
Posted: 03/27/2011 12:33 PM

Maybe the Park District could even sponsor a yearly summertime "Fred Anderson Concert Series" in the Fred Anderson Park--both honoring and continuing the work of a great musician who devoted so much of his life to providing spaces for other musicians to learn and grow.

By Many Weathers from South Loop
Posted: 03/25/2011 2:49 PM

One of the many beautiful things about Fred Anderson and the example of the way he lived his life is that he did his own thing in a positive way, never criticized anyone of their thing and never, ever asked anyone for anything other than to include them in his effort to relocate his club. His friends and fans carried his dream exactly one block away and he continued his life's work for four more years. The blogging class can learn a lot from his example of patience, dedication and consistence.

By Stephen Reginald from South Loop
Posted: 03/25/2011 1:41 PM

Why is it that the folks who take an opposing viewpoint and use this forum to attack an organization or individual never sign their real name? What are they afraid of?

By Adam Zanolini from Sunnyside, NYC
Posted: 03/25/2011 12:43 PM

Very appropriate to name a park after the great Fred Anderson. I really hopes this goes through.

By Gary from South Loop
Posted: 03/25/2011 12:13 PM

Wonderful to be getting another park in the area. The greener and the more dog and kid friendly the better (more kid activities for the next park?). Before any more empty building get built, let's get more parks (over the train tracks). I think the name is wonderful and support the Alderman's recommendation.

By Anonymous
Posted: 03/25/2011 12:03 PM

Really. The greater SOUTH LOOP association thinks it is a great idea to make sure every name has SOUTH LOOP in it? Why not the GREATER SOUTH LOOP ASSOCIATION DOG PARK. Why would anyone name anything South Loop? No style.

By 2nd Vote for South Loop Dog Park from SOUTH LOOP
Posted: 03/25/2011 10:28 AM

I disagree. SOUTH LOOP Dog Park is a wonderful idea. I contacted a friend with the Greater South Loop Association who suggested an email campaign to the Alderman's office to recommend SOUTH LOOP Park to the Alderman's Office. Who is with me?

By Lyn Horton from outside of Chicago
Posted: 03/25/2011 8:12 AM

Maybe, my contribution to this discussion is unwarranted since I live so far away, but to honor Chicagoan Fred Anderson who contributed so much to the culture of the city deserves more than a park to carry his name. He deserves a street, an avenue, an entire block!

By Many Weathers from South Loop
Posted: 03/24/2011 11:31 PM

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-06-24/entertainment/chi-100618-fred-anderson-dead_1_tenor-saxophonist-fred-anderson-chicago-jazz-free-jazz Jazzman Fred Anderson began his humble stewardship in the South Loop in 1979 at Tip's Tavern, which became his when Tip passed. He renamed it the Velvet and began a tradition of hospitality, inclusiveness and creativity that has spread the Chicago sound around the world. Naming this park for him is a fitting way to honor his life's work for all time.

By Mike from 18th & Michigan
Posted: 03/24/2011 10:30 PM

Because South Loop Park is a DUMB name, that's why. I'm not sure where you're from (Wisconsin) but many parks in the city are named in memory of someone who was important to the community. What have you done?

By We want SOUTH LOOP DOG PAR from South Loop
Posted: 03/24/2011 1:06 PM

So was this name selected with input from the community or request for name ideas? Why not SOUTH LOOP Dog Park? Everyone should all write or call in to the Alderman\'s office demanding SOUTH LOOP Dog Park!

By Pam from South Loop
Posted: 03/24/2011 12:11 PM

The first step is remediation, slated to start this Spring, which can lead to unexpected results and their necessary remedies. I think that is the reason for the conservative estimate on the date for the opening of the park. If you are interested in getting more involved and joining the DFA committee, please let us know!

By JJ from South Loop
Posted: 03/23/2011 10:29 PM

Great news but we were told the park would be completed by late summer 2011. Why the delay?