SOUTH LOOP — After six years of planning, the Chicago Park District is moving forward with plans to upgrade Fred Anderson Park in the South Loop — and dog lovers will be pleased.
The district's board of commissioners unanimously supported a contract with Robe Construction, Inc., to create "a dog friendly area with artificial turf for both large and small dogs," along with a "dog drinking fountain" for the park.
"I wanted to thank you and congratulate you for getting this far. For naming the park for Fred, for getting it funded, for getting it designed, for working with the neighbors and the musicians to say 'this is gonna be Fred Anderson Park," said Andy Pierce, a supporter of the park, addressing the board during a Wednesday meeting.
Plans for a park at 1629 S. Wabash St. began more than six years ago, according to Leslie Recht, a spokesperson for Ald. Bob Fioretti's (2nd) office.
After famed Chicago jazz saxophonist Fred Anderson died in 2010, fans rallied for the new South Loop park to be named in the icon's memory.
Other improvements planned for Fred Anderson Park include planters, concrete walkways, lighting, benches, picnic tables, shade canopies, ornamental fencing and a community area, where Park District Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly hopes to see "jazz music in some way, shape or form."
Pierce said programming plans will be similar to performances at the jazz-focused Tuesdays on the Terrace series at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
"That's the quality we're shooting for," he said.