Jackson Park to receive $625K grant for reconstruction

Four other parks in Chicago will together receive more than $1.6 million in grant funding for rehab projects expected to cost more than $4 million.

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The Statue of the Republic of the 1893 World’s Fair, The Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park.

The Statue of the Republic of the 1893 World’s Fair, The Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park.

Sun-Times file photo

Jackson Park, a 550-acre green space in Woodlawn, is due for a facelift.

So says State Sen. Robert Peters, D-Chicago, who Thursday announced that the Chicago Park District has been granted $625,000 for reconstruction projects at the park from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

“Jackson Park is an essential part of our community, and it has needed maintenance for some time,” Peters, whose district includes neighborhoods around the park, said in a statement. “I’m glad the Chicago Park District will receive the funds it needs to give Jackson Park the renovations that the people in our neighborhood who use it deserve.”

The park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and the selected site of the Obama Presidential Center, will receive the grant money through the state’s Open Space Land Acquisition and Development program, which plans to provide $30 million for parks projects this year, including more than $1.6 million for projects at four other city parks.

The park district will match the funds provided by the grant for each of the projects, a spokeswoman said.

At Jackson Park, the grant money will help restore the iconic “Iowa Building,” a depression-era limestone pavilion that was built by the Works Progress Administration; fund a new dog park; and upgrade baseball and softball diamonds.

Big Marsh Park, a 280-acre park on the Far South Side between the Calumet River and Lake Calumet, will receive $900,000 in program funds that will go to creating and maintaining multi-use trails, a wildlife observation platform and camping areas, the park district said.

Other parks to get matching funding through the program are:

  • La Follette Park, in Austin, will get $302,500 for new playground equipment, baseball and soccer field enhancements and new paving.
  • Sherwood Park, in Englewood, will get $275,000 for a new water spray feature, track and field rehabilitation and fencing.
  • Murray Park, in West Englewood, will get $197,500 for the rehabilitation of a water spray feature, baseball diamonds and basketball courts, as well as paving and landscaping enhancements, according to the park district.

The park district said construction on the projects is expected to begin this year and will continue into 2021.

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