Park District Commissioners Re-Affirm Plan To Rebuild Six Tennis Courts at the North End of Grant Park.
Date: September 24, 2014 4:07:58 PM CDT
To: N. D. <KeepTennisInNorthGrantPark@gmail.com>
The six tennis courts will be built in Peanut Park as planned. The Grant Park Conservancy proposed some ideas that would have moved the courts out of Peanut Park and we wanted to hear their ideas, which we did. But that conversation is over and we are sticking to the plan to build the courts in Peanut. Improvements to Peanut Park are not part of the Maggie Daley construction contract. They will be bid separately. Our intention is to bid the Peanut work in 2015 and to start construction there next year. At this time, we don’t know when in 2015 construction will start. We will have a better idea later this year or early next year. I hope this information is helpful.
From: office <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: October 7, 2014 at 6:31:43 PM CDT
To: G. F.
Subject: Re: We were promised tennis courts...
Dear Ms. G. F. ,
Thank you for contacting the Office of Alderman Brendan Reilly. Alderman Reilly is working with the Chicago Park District to ensure that the tennis courts remain in Peanut Park. Alderman Reilly shares your desire to maintain this amenity for area residents. We will send you an update from Alderman Reilly via USPS mail.
Office of Alderman Brendan Reilly
325 W. Huron Street, Suite 510
Chicago, IL 60654
The tennis advocacy group requested this website not publish this email until they had an opportunity to thank the Park District Commissioners directly at their open meeeting on October 8, 2014.
The New Eastside residents, office workers, and visitors have had convenient tennis facilities for 38 years.
Every park district plan to rebuild the park over the damaged garage waterproof membrane has included the desire of the vast majority to rebuild the local tennis opportunity. You can review each of these versions in the index in the right margin of this and every webpage.
The community has been monitoring this progress since the initial version was published 4 years ago in 2010. At least 5 public hearings or meetings were held in 2010 to insure that all viewpoints were fully considered.
By Leonor Vivanco, @lvivanco RedEye
8:58 p.m. CDT, October 8, 2014
The Chicago Park District plans to move forward with the six tennis courts at Peanut Park despite opposition voiced on Wednesday by some downtown residents who prefer the park be left as open space instead.
The new Maggie Daley Park site includes the Daley Bicentennial Plaza, Cancer Survivors Garden and Peanut Park. Peanut Park, which was used as a passive space, is located in the northeast corner near Lake Shore Drive and Randolph Street.
Half of the dozen tennis courts once located at the Daley Bicentennial Plaza site are planned to be rebuilt at Peanut Park.
Resident Jon Mitchell said putting tennis courts there will destroy the multiuse, year-round Peanut Park and turn it into a tennis center that can only be used a few months in a year. He said there were tennis courts less than a mile away in Grant Park.
Another resident Stephen Cohen countered that Peanut Park "represents the last piece of open space available for the park district to replace a fraction of the 12 courts that served Grant Park players for 40 years."
Some residents of the New East Side neighborhood north of the site said their objections weren't heard and made the last ditch effort at Wednesday's park district board meeting to scrap plans for the tennis courts.
Members of the Save Peanut Park group said the community was not adequately informed while acknowledging they had some fault in dropping the ball on the issue.
Park District CEO Mike Kelly said there were numerous public meetings held. Renderings of the park project included the six tennis courts at Peanut Park and the plans also went to the Chicago Plan Commission for approval.
"Everybody had a voice. Everybody had an opportunity," he said.
The main issue for resident Pat Reis was that the tennis courts will leave no space for park visitors to play flag football or kick a ball around.
"It's taking up too much green space," she said.
Supporters of Keep Tennis in North Grant Park, which had its own petition campaign as well, said the site has plenty of open green space.
Kelly said having six tennis courts there was reasonable. "Six tennis courts are going to make a very small percentage of those five acres," he said.
The plans for the tennis courts will move forward. "The park district is going to honor its commitment," Kelly said.
RedEye, an edition of the Chicago Tribune