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Telcser Park Getting Spring Cleaning, But Makeover Could Be Next

By Serena Dai | February 17, 2013 11:25am

LAKEVIEW — Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) wants to see bigger renovations for a "depressing" Lakeview park.

Telcser Park, at 3151 N. Lakeshore Drive, will be freshened up for the spring with standard annual repairs. But Tunney considers it a space that needs more work in the long-term, according to the Chicago Park District and the alderman's office.

"It's pretty depressing," Tunney said during a South East Lake View Neighbors gathering. "Maybe it was just the day. There hasn't been investment there in a while."

The park has not been renovated since 1988, according to park district spokeswoman Michele Lemons.

By the spring, benches will be fixed and raised, rotten wood on equipment will be stabilized or replaced, the swings will receive fresh paint, the mulch will be new and the sandbox will be refilled, according to Erin Duffy, Tunney's community outreach director.

The slide in the park will be tightened and fixed immediately in case people come use it before the warmest temperatures hit, Lemons said.

In the long term, the alderman would like to see a larger renovation, which could cost $1 million, he said. Funding for such a project would require community input and major investment. In the past, if the community raised the first two-thirds of the cost, the parks department will donate the last third, Tunney said.

Park projects are sometimes also paid for in part by corporate donations—School Street Playlot, for example, is relying on a Cubs donation—or aldermanic menu money, which are funds from the city's Capital Improvement Program meant to fix local infrastructure such as streets, sidewalks or traffic signals, Lemons said. 

In 2012, the 44th Ward spent nearly all $1.32 million it was allocated for repairs.

For now, the park near the Belmont exit of Lakeshore Drive will just get spruced up with money and work from CPD. 

Lakeview resident Jonas Ginsburg brings his 10-month-old son Seiji to the park once a week, even on a winter Thursday. The new father said a renovation could bring in more children—a community benefit that would be nice for a baby that notoriously loves staring at people.

Fresh equipment would be nice too, but, Ginsburg said, baby Seiji is happy with just tugging at the grass.

"The littlest things excite him," he said.