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Throop Street River Park Could Replace Old Fisk Power Plant In Pilsen

By Stephanie Lulay | May 24, 2017 5:03pm
 The city wants to put a public park in part of the old Fisk Power Plant site (in rear of photo). 
The city wants to put a public park in part of the old Fisk Power Plant site (in rear of photo). 
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Flickr/ Steven Vance

PILSEN — City officials are moving forward with a plan to create a public park at the former Fisk power plant site on the Chicago River. 

The city will dedicate $40,000 in Open Space Impact Fees to study the possibility of creating Throop Street River Park on a 1.5-acre vacant portion of the former Fisk site in the Pilsen Industrial Corridor. The City Council unanimously approved the funding Wednesday. 

Coordinated by the city's Planning and Development, the study will develop an implementation strategy for the park along the north bank of the Chicago River's South Branch, including possible trails, wildlife habitats, overlooks, and landscaping, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office. The plan will also help build a budget for the project and identify potential funding sources. 

The remainder of the study costs will be funded by an Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Zone Management Program grant.

The planning process for the park is expected to begin this spring and be completed by the end of 2017. 

The Open Space Impact Fees program collects fees associated with the construction of new residential projects to apply to the open space needs of surrounding neighborhoods. 

City officials first announced part of the Fisk site could become a park in 2015. 

The Fisk plant at 1111 W. Cermak Road was shut down in August 2012 after a long fight between community activists and the power plant's operators, Midwest Generation.