DOWNTOWN — Maggie Daley Park, now under construction on 20 acres in Grant Park, will include a total overhaul of a field house at 337 E. Randolph St.
Newly released renderings of the glass-walled field house designed by Valerio Dewalt Train Associates are a stark contrast to the brutalist architecture of the previous Richard J. Daley Bicentennial Plaza field house.
In addition to cosmetic changes to the building's exterior, construction on the field house will include reconfiguring concession space in the building, replacing doors, improving toilet facilities and locker rooms and upgrading interior finishes, according to a Chicago Park District spokeswoman.
"The old field house was a dilapidated building with a roof that constantly leaked," said Bob O'Neill, president of the Grant Park Conservancy, whose group hosted community meetings in the old field house.
"We used to have to put buckets out when we had public meetings there to catch the rainwater so it wouldn't drip on people's heads or so that people would not slip on the wet areas. The building had a lot of wasted space that was underutilized, and in Grant Park, we should have as much of it used as possible given the huge and growing demands."
Earlier this month, the Park District's board voted to hire Burling Builders to renovate the field house.
The building is expected to reopen for Park District programs next January.
“The renovation of Maggie Daley field house will be a key component of the new Maggie Daley Park, which will dramatically transform the existing area into a sprawling Downtown open space to benefit all of Chicago,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a release announcing the building contract.
The new park, bounded by Lake Shore Drive, Columbus Drive and Monroe and Randolph streets, is named after the former first lady of Chicago, the late wife of former Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Maggie Daley died of breast cancer in November 2011, and the newly inaugurated Emanuel announced plans to redevelop a park in her name the next summer.