November 16, 2011

Open Space Proposals Would Honor Community Activists

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Open space proposals introduced to City Council today by Mayor Rahm Emanuel would honor a Morgan Park community activist, a Near South Side saxophonist, and survivors of the Vietnam War.

“Chicago needs to maximize all of its open space assets, no matter how big or small,” Mayor Emanuel said. “The financial assistance would improve these sites for public use while preserving the memories of people and events that should not be forgotten.”

Edna White Garden
Improvements to Edna White Garden at 1816-1830 W. Monterey Ave. would be supported with $70,000 in Open Space Impact fees.  Plans for the site, which is owned by the NeighborSpace land trust and managed by nearby residents, include the addition of a pergola, benches and landscaping.  White promoted human relations, gardening, animal welfare, and youth programming in the Morgan Park community until she was murdered in her home in 1993. Open Space Impact Fees are used to fund open space projects within each of Chicago’s 77 community areas.

Fred Anderson Park
Nearly $470,000 in Open Space Impact fees and $3.5 million in Tax Increment Financing assistance would support the development of a new neighborhood park at 1611-1629 S. Wabash Ave. The funds would be used for environmental remediation, a pavilion, landscaping, seating areas, walking paths and dog-friendly amenities. The 1.1-acre site, currently owned by the City of Chicago, would be transferred to the Chicago Park District as part of the proposal. Anderson traveled internationally as a tenor saxophone player and also operated the Velvet Lounge jazz club on the Near South Side. He died in 2010.

Vietnam Survivors Memorial
A 3,800-square-foot parcel of land at 817 S. Oakley Blvd. would be sold for $1 to the Vietnam Survivors Memorial Foundation for public open space. The site, adjacent to the existing Vietnam Survivors Memorial on the Near West Side, would provide additional space for the park and memorial. The memorial was established by Near West Side veteran William Lavicka in 1987.