Andersonville, as part of the Edgewater community, has an ‘open space deficit’ (see the Chicago Park District’s (CPD) CitySpace Plan ). As it is stated in that report the city’s goal is to provide every resident—within a reasonable distance from his or her residence—with a minimum of 2 acres of open space per 1,000 residents. Back in 1998 when the CitySpace Plan was written, Edgewater was already 37.6 acres in the hole. Now, after all the residential development of the past decade, we probably need a few more acres of open space in order to erase that deficit. Building a neighborhood park on the entire site of the former Edgewater Medical Center (EMC) certainly would help us do so.
Such a park might look something like the fantastic, new, neighborhood park I have had the good fortune to be able to visit on a few occasions this year. Located on a parcel of land slightly smaller than the EMC site and near my place of work, the Mary Bartelme Park (MBP) is at Adams and Sangamon. If you have the means and the time to do so, check it out. From my outings there it is clear to me this neighborhood park is a big hit with the West Loop’s residents. Named after the first woman judge in Illinois, it has a children’s play area (I know two two-year-olds who love the children’s play area), ample open space for the West Loop’s non-kids, and a dog play area. There are links to information, images, and videos relating to MBP (formerly known as Park 542) below and the following is a link to a CPD video about the park.
According to the CPD’s 2010 – 2014 Capital Improvement Plan, as prepared by it’s General Superintendent and CEO, Timothy Mitchell, who is an Andersonville resident, I belive, we, the citizens of Chicago, will spend, through the CPD, $231,766,000 acquiring and developing land as open space throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods between 2010 and 2014. Of that total, $169,121,000 is to come from public funds and the remaining $62,645,000 is to come from private funds. That is some real money. Shouldn’t some of it be spent in our neighborhood? With a little effort and planning on our part and on our behalf by our elected and non-elected officials, we could have our very own ‘Mary Bartelme Park’ on the entire EMC site. That, I believe, is a debt we owe our children.
Links Related to Mary Bartelme Park
The Chicago Park District
542 Archway’s at Night