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Check Out This Planned Streeterville Park, Called A 'Vacation In The City'

A slide in the "play bowl" at Bennett Park in Streeterville. [Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates]

DOWNTOWN — The concrete jungle of Streeterville is getting a new park, one designed by the same firm behind Maggie Daley Park and the 606. 

Chicago developer Related Midwest has released new renderings of Bennett Park, a new public park under construction along with an accompanying 70-story tower at Grand Avenue and Peshtigo Court. 

The 1.7-acre park opening in 2019 is designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the same firm behind the 606, Maggie Daley Park and forthcoming Obama presidential library. Like Maggie Daley Park, Bennett Park will feature winding pathways and rolling berms that offer visitors a sense of discovery as they meander through the urban garden.

"It's kind of a vacation in the city," said Laura Solano, a principal at the firm. "It’s not really trying to escape from it; it’s meant to enhance the experience of being in the city."

The berms will divide the park into what Solano calls "outdoor rooms:" a central lawn bowl, a "play bowl" for children, a shade grove and dog run with separate spots for small and large breeds.

A slide leading down to the park's "play bowl." [MVVA]

The park will open in tandem with One Bennett Park, a 70-story residential tower at 451 E. Grand Ave. The tower, modeled after Chicago's classy pre-war Art Deco buildings, will mix luxury apartments and condominiums. 

"We sort of planned the whole building around the park really in terms of views and access points," said Tricia Van Horn, a Related Midwest spokeswoman.

The park will be open to the public as well as the tower residents. Solano said the park is set up so that people can easily cut across, or stay as long as they like. 

"It’s not an island; it’s really meant to engage people," she said. "It's going to feel really special when it's done."

Bennett Park will be near Grand Avenue and Peshtigo Court. [Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates]

A Bennett Park pathway. [Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates]


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