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City Dwellers Flock to Lincoln Park 'Oasis' for Lily Pool's Final Day

By Josh McGhee | November 4, 2013 6:42am
 Residents said Sunday's weather was perfect to visit the secluded Lily Pool next to Lincoln Park Zoo.
Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool
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LINCOLN PARK— Lakeview resident Joanna Kellogg knew what she and her 6-year-old son, Ewynn, would do Sunday.

“Hop in the car,” she told him after seeing Sunday's warm weather, perfect for a nature walk at Lincoln Park’s Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, which was open for one last day.

"It's like a little oasis in a city. You almost forget you're in a big city," Kellogg said. "Plus, It's small so you can take kids."

She lives only about a mile away and enjoys walking through nature with her son. Though she only goes about once a season she likes the different views of the pool she gets.

"It's kind of nice to see how it changes during the seasons," she said.

The secluded pond off Fullerton Avenue just south of the Lincoln Park Zoo entrance, drew residents from across the city who enjoyed one final day of peace and quiet amid the low-hanging trees and lilies covering the water.

Designed in the late 1930s as an urban retreat by local architect Alfred Caldwell, the lagoon features native plants and a variety of flora. In the 1950s, it had evolved into a favorite spot for migratory birds. Today, after being rehabbed last decade, it again draws nature lovers, or just those looking to escape smart phones and modern life, even for a little bit.

Photographer Rachel Dean, 27, met a client at the lagoon Sunday, hoping to use to scenery for a yoga-themed photoshoot.

"I think it’s really peaceful. It’s a good place to relax and it doesn’t really feel like you’re in the city," Dean said.

"Every angle of the pond is a really different perspective," said Dean, a Bucktown resident.

Sofia Medved of Lincoln Park said she likes to walk in silence by the pond and "be inspired," but today she brought a friend visiting from Russia to see the "peace" and "nature" the small pond has to offer.

"It's one of the most beautiful places in Chicago. It's just in the middle of everything. It's secluded and it's peaceful," she said.