MAGGIE DALEY PARK — A key parks group will discuss potential "alternatives" to the dog ban at the new Maggie Daley Park on Tuesday evening, opening a door for pooch-loving neighbors.
The Maggie's at the Park restaurant and a tennis arena proposed for the old Grant Park skate park will also be discussed at Tuesday's Grant Park Conservancy meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Maggie Daley Park Field House, 337 E. Randolph St.
The Chicago Park District drew ire of Lakeshore East residents and other Maggie Daley Park neighbors when it announced the dog ban late last year. In a conversation Friday, Grant Park Conservancy President Bob O'Neill confirmed that his group would present "alternatives" to the dog ban at Tuesday's meeting.
The conservancy is an influential parks group that produces events and programs for Grant Park and surrounding areas, as well as offer input on park initiatives.
Still, as owner of the land, the Chicago Park District has final say on the matter. A park district spokeswoman did not immediately return a message.
Also on the agenda is a proposed site plan for Maggie's at the Park, a Four Corners Tavern Group restaurant that the Park District Board approved earlier this month.
Designed by landscape architect Ernest Wong and Chicago-based SPACE Architects and Planners, the restaurant would occupy a stretch of parkland along Monroe Street that once was home to the Green at Grant Park miniature golf course. Maggie's, as the restaurant would be called, includes a green roof that extends from the park, offering views of Buckingham Fountain.
"Maggie's will be a great improvement and create more activity on the south end of Maggie Daley Park at Monroe Street, which is kind of dead," O'Neill said via email.
Four Corners Tavern Group Director Ryan Indovina said his company is working with the park district to finalize the restaurant's design and declined to comment further.
The meeting will also address possible reuses for the old Grant Park skate park south of Balbo Avenue and west of Columbus Drive. A new skate park opened nearby late last year.
One idea: a 12-court tennis venue with bleachers that could host tournaments, O'Neill said. The public could use the courts on other days, potentially tempering vitriol from neighbors concerned about the removal of 12 tennis courts during Maggie Daley Park's reconstruction.
Other meeting items include discussion over allocation of Lollapalooza funds toward Grant Park, and a proposed "organic community garden."
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