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Porta-Potty in Park Confuses, Alarms Downtown Neighbors

By David Matthews | May 7, 2015 6:06am | Updated on May 7, 2015 8:49am

PRINTER'S ROW — A portable toilet that mysteriously appeared near Printer's Row Park this week has raised concerns from neighbors hoping to flush it out.

The orange porta-potty installed Sunday by K. Hoving Cos. is an eyesore that distracts and detracts from the small park on the 700 block of South Dearborn Street, the head of a nearby neighborhood group said.

"Everybody was like, 'Let's call the cops,'" said Susan Ohde of the South Loop Neighbors. "How long is it going to be sitting there? I want it to be gone."

David Matthews says neighbors want the porta-potty moved:

A K. Hoving representative said the porta-potty was installed for Broadview-based Clark Roofing Co. Mike Young, of Clark Roofing, said they're working on a building near the park at 713 S. Federal St., a job they expect to last two weeks. 

Ohde was curious as to why the porta-potty could not be moved farther away from the park, or just removed entirely. The porta-potty is also arriving at the park as its peak season for park visitors is approaching. 

"We want to encourage people to use the park," Ohde said. "We don't want to have a portable toilet."

The toilet has since drawn the attention of several other Printer's Row residents, including Shannon Flynn, who noticed the orange visitor while walking her dog.

"I'm in my apartment. I'm looking at it now and it's really awful," Flynn said.

A quaint, paved strip tucked between former printers' lofts on Dearborn and Federal streets, the park has a fountain and plenty of seats for guests. What Ohde and Flynn don't want is the porta-potty, which they worry could linger at the park too.

"I understand we have a public space, but now it's a public restroom," Flynn said. 

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