News & Politics » Letters

What About Logan Square's Skate Park?

by

comment

Logan Boulevard Skate Park is much closer to completion than the Bloomingdale Trail, but was omitted in the Reader's wonderful review of Logan Square [August 10]. Chicago's first "covered skate park" is scheduled for construction in late 2007 by the Chicago Park District underneath the Kennedy Expressway overpass at 2400 W. Logan Blvd. Proposed by local park advocates with support from Friends of the Parks, Logan Boulevard Skate Park is a new activity jewel on Chicago's famous boulevard system "emerald necklace" conceived by John S. Wright in 1849: "Of these parks I have a vision. They are all improved and connected with a wide avenue extending to and along the Lake shore on the north and south, and so surrounding the city with a magnificent chain of parks and parkways that have not their equal in the World."

The skate park will transform a bleak expanse under the I-90/94 superhighway into a year-round activity space. Skaters are protected from rain or snow by the highway directly above. Our long-term plan is a world-class permanent concrete park for the 20,000-square-foot site. The Park District decided to build a Phase 1 with modular skate elements, ramps, and half bowl, plus a street skate section, to get the space open more quickly. This has been controversial among experienced skaters who favor a concrete park as higher quality and more cost-effective. Elsewhere, most covered skate parks under highways and bridges were designed and self built by skaters (Burnside in Portland, OR; FDR in Philadelphia, PA, etc).

Logan Boulevard Skate Park involved years of negotiation among different government agencies: Chicago Department of Planning and Development, Chicago Park District, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT administers I-90/94 right-of-way), Federal Transportation Authority, and EPA. We hope the plan stays on track to create a vibrant activity jewel including public art and gardens transforming the expressway underpass plus adjacent green space at the boulevard gateway to Logan Square.

Mark Heller

Logan Boulevard Skate Park

Add a comment