A spokesman for The Boeing Co. said Monday that its property manager had made a “mistake” by wrongly limiting the hours of public access and blocking dogs from the Riverwalk path next to its headquarters at 100 N. Riverside Plaza downtown.
“We apologize for the mistake — dogs are welcome on a leash,” Boeing’s Chaz Bickers said. “Our park is open in line with the Chicago park hours, and we welcome dogs.”
Last month, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that security guards and signs posted at entrances to the Riverwalk sought to block all dogs and limit public use of the path to weekdays from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. As with all Chicago parks, the Riverwalk is supposed to welcome leashed dogs and be open every day from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.
Jeffrey Graubart, a downtown resident who likes to walk his yellow Labrador retriever Wriggles along the Riverwalk, had complained that security guards at the Boeing building told him the portion of the path there, along the west bank of the south branch of the Chicago River, was private property. For months, Graubart tried in vain to get help from City Hall to intervene.
After the Sun-Times ran a column Oct. 23 on his efforts, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s zoning administrator, Patti Scudiero, agreed that people and pooches were being wrongly blocked from the path and sent a letter to the manager of the building, the CBRE real estate firm, telling the company to abide by the rules.
The portion of the signs that mentioned dogs was then covered up, but the hours for public use were still wrong, the Sun-Times reported Monday.
The building manager didn’t respond to requests for comment. But Bickers apologized Monday and said, “We’re happy to see Mr. Graubart and his dog back in the park here at 100 N. Riverside Plaza.”