- Positioned at natural grade on a brownfield, the site was reclaimed for use as a public park.
- This six-acre park is positioned three stories lower than the surrounding streets.
- A nautical theme informs the park design, through the use of sail forms which create sweeping arches.
- The historic context of the site was considered by marking the old alignment of Lake Shore Drive with Bradford pear trees, which run through the center of the park.
- The project develops an open plot of land into a park. The park acts as the centerpiece for commercial high-rise development in the surrounding neighborhood.
- Erosion control strategies are implemented, by using geotextiles to stabilize soils, and retaining walls to divert water.
- A pre-design soil assessment was conducted.
- The project conserves healthy soils and amends others.
- 460 deciduous trees were planted in the park including: honey locust, skyline locust, London plain trees, dawn redwoods and white oaks.
- Plants native to Chicago cover the ornamental gardens, including: climbing roses, flowering roses, iris, echinacea, and prairie grasses.
- The soil profile was considered during plant selection.
- The project minimizes pesticide and fertilizer use.
- Mycorrhizal fungi were implemented in the soil mix to provide increased water and nutrient absorption for the planting. In turn, the planting provides the fungi with necessary carbohydrates.
- Plants are allowed to go to seed/flower life.
- The project avoids annual planting.
- Low water usage planting was used on-site.
- 76% of surfaces are permeable.
- Trees have the potential for intercepting 230,000 gallons of water which equals the water usage for 230 American residents for one day *
- The water gardens function seasonally. Animated fountains flow during warm months and stand as artistic plinths during the winter months.
Carbon, Energy + Air
- The project uses planting to minimize building energy use and reduces temperatures in urban areas.
- The project uses regional materials.
- The trees sequester 55,200 pounds of carbon annually, which offsets 6.7 cars per year **
- During construction, pollutants were controlled and retained.
- Overlooking the confluence of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, Lakeshore East is a $4 billion redevelopment that will include 4,950 residential units, 1,500 hotel rooms, 2.2 million SF of gross commercial space, 770,000 SF of retail space and an elementary school at completion. The project was a catalyst for development. In 2004, the park had five adjacent towers. In 2016, the park has 12 adjacent towers.
- Maintenance savings were considered in the design.
- Job and volunteer opportunities were created on-site.
- Sustainability in material manufacturing was supported.
- Materials were reused on-site.
- Reusable vegetation, rocks and soil were diverted from disposal.
- Materials not needed on-site were recycled.
- The project supports alternative modes of transportation. Cyclists and pedestrians cross through the park daily.
- The project provides optimum site accessibility, safety, and wayfinding.
- The project acts as a visual amenity to all the tenants in the surrounding business towers.
- Yelp reviews give The Park at Lakeshore East 4.5 out of five stars.
- Users and stakeholders were engaged through community meetings before the park’s installation.