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School Street Park Might Be Named After Former Cubs Executive

By Serena Dai | April 30, 2014 7:01am
 The Cubs presented renderings of the School Street Playlot, at 1232 and 1234 W. School St., to the park's advisory council on Wednesday. Designs are not yet final.
School Street Playlot Renderings
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LAKEVIEW — The planned School Street Park could soon have an official name: the Margaret Donahue Park.

Donahue was the first female front-office executive for a Major League Baseball team, according to an article in the Tribune. The Cubs executive invented the concept of season tickets and pushed the idea that people other than adult men could enjoy baseball.

That fits in perfectly with the goal of the park as a place for the whole family, said Jackie Earley, president of the School Street Park Advisory Council.

"She did her best to change the attitude of who attended," she said. "She tried to make it a more family-friendly game."

The advisory council of the planned park, 1230 W. School St., still needs to take a vote on the name.

"We were basically focusing our efforts on finding a woman who made a difference in the local community," Earley said.

With the official name comes the official groundbreaking on a project that Lakeview residents have requested for about a decade.

Work will start in late May or early June, Earley said, and a date will be confirmed by the council's next meeting on May 15 at Sheil Park, 3505 N. Southport Ave.

Earley, for one, is excited.

"We're so d--- close," she said. "I want to get this thing done and dusted. For so long, so many people thought this would not actually happen."

Cubs Charities is donating $1 million for the project, and the advisory council has been trying to raise $200,000.

The council is about $10,000 away from the goal and is still taking donations. Supporters have options such as buying a brick in the park, starting at $150, or paying $30 for a child to participate in the groundbreaking.

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