Jazzing up a Chicago dog park
Fioretti proposes naming park for iconic passed saxophonist
03/23/2011 10:00 PM
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.
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.