STREETERVILLE — Grass is in and softball is out at Lake Shore Park, which is reopening Tuesday a few blocks off the Mag Mile.
Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) told constituents he will reopen the park at 808 N. Lake Shore Drive during a ceremony starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
City officials closed the park earlier this year to remove softball diamonds some Streeterville neighbors said took up too much space and posed a threat to passersby who risked getting hit by balls flying out of the park.
The dirt diamonds have since been replaced with new sod that makes a big, new lawn at the nearly 6-acre park. The outdoor track surrounding the park and tennis courts next to it remained open throughout the resodding.
"We truly appreciate your patience throughout the project’s duration," Hopkins wrote in an email to constituents Friday.
Most of the wire fence surrounding the new lawn will be removed over the next week, while the park's northeast corner will remain fenced for more resodding, Hopkins said. New signs telling people to pick up after their dogs also will be planted in the park.
More changes could be on the way. Hopkins asked the Chicago Park District to gauge interest in a new "dog-friendly area" in the park via survey.
Hopkins also is conducting an engineering study to explore a possible expansion for the park's field house off Lake Shore Drive.
"Some of the recreational activities we're exploring include an additional gym for basketball and indoor volleyball, as well as program space for classes, workshops and yoga," Christian Ficara, a Hopkins aide, wrote in an email.
A look at the park Friday [DNAinfo/David Matthews]
Looking east toward the lake [DNAinfo/David Matthews]
The view from the nearby Museum of Contemporary Art. [DNAinfo/David Matthews]
The park back when it had softball diamonds [Facebook/Danna Wulf]