Tennis Courts Delayed for Funding...and Tennis Lighting
The New Eastside neighborhood has enjoyed twelve tennis courts since the mid-70s when the Monroe Garage and Daley Bicentennial Park were constructed. Many residents moved to our neighborhood and purchased condominiums partly because their family enjoyed living near tennis courts. The park district consultant's initial designs for the remodeled Maggie Daley Park eliminated all 12 tennis courts. After many tennis players expressed disappointment about losing all of our local tennis courts, the park district directed the consultant to include at least SIX of the tennis courts in all further planning. This latest plan below from August 17, 2012 still includes the 6 tennis courts in Peanut Park. As the "soft opening" of the park in late 2014 approaches, the community now learns that "funding" was never reserved for the courts during the last 2 years. There will now be many disappointed tennis players in the New Eastside community and workers in the downtown area that are still looking forward to reconstructed modern tennis courts. The adjacent residents have also been assured that the tennis court light fixtures will be properly shielded and that the court surface will minimize any reflection. We will be patient until an amenity we have enjoyed for four decades is restored.
These pictures were taken from the Buckingham several years ago and shown at a NEAR meeting to reduce the concern of nearby residents with the proposed tennis courts in Peanut Park. The old ice rink is about the same distance from the Buckingham as the tennis courts in Peanut Park will be from 400 Randolph.
You can also see the less visible tennis courts during these winter months without leaves on the trees.
This is a telephoto close-up of the picture above to show a close-up of the former white surface of the ice rink. Note the difference of the surface of the old tennis courts behind the ice rink.
This close-up image shows the reflections from the white surface of the former ice rink.
Now imagine the darker tennis court surface of the promised new courts in Peanut Park. And the lights at the new tennis courts will be well-shielded and may also be oriented to illuminate in an east/west direction from the sides of the courts. We can also expect that the lights will not be on the tennis courts during the Winter when the leaves are off the trees.
Note the original 12 tennis courts were not lighted during the Winter when the leaves are off the trees.
Original tennis courts----->
Existing Lower Randolph Entrance --->
Middle Randolph To Lake ----->
Maggie Daley Park Review Index
ADDED Sunday, August 17, 2014:
After this webpage was initially published on July 30, 2014, we learned a key reason for the concerns of some south-facing residents of the 400 Randolph and 155 Harbor buildings. For decades they have been looking down to the 12 tennis courts at 9th and Columbus, and have seen the bright glare of the lights. They are naturally fearful if similar lighting would be installed in the appproved courts in the Peanut Park area of northeast Grant Park. These three pictures were published initially on this webpage, and several additional pictures examining the lights at the 9th and Columbus courts are being added on August 17, 2014.
These next pictures were taken August 13, 2014, and help explain WHY the lights on the tennis courts at 9th and Columbus are so bright. The glare can be seen a mile away. It was natural for the residents north of Grant Park to be fearful that similar unshielded glaring lighting would be used, when the approved 6 tennis courts are rebuilt in the Peanut Park area of northeast Grant Park.
The lights on the tennis courts at 9th and Columbus serve two purposes. They, of course, light the tennis courts in the evening. However because there are so few other lights in that area of Grant Park, the fixtures have been tilted upward (see next picture) to also light the surrounding area for security reasons all year, even during the off-season..
The lights will be shielded, so the lights themselves will not be visible to adjacent residents to the north. And the surface of the courts will be darker and less reflective than the white surface in the ice rink pictures above.
These unshielded tennis court lights at 9th and Columbus are tilted upward to also illuminate the relatively dark surrounding area for security purposes.
Please continue scrolling down the webpage to additional text and pictures.
Several years ago, the park district wanted to create a temporary skate board park to meet the growing interest and need. They determined that, even with the influx of a growing high rise residential population in the South Loop, and over 55,000 students in downtown colleges, all 12 tennis courts were underutilized and projected to not be needed in the future. So the park district converted 6 of the 12 tennis courts to 2 beach sand volleyball courts and a new smooth cement surface for an intended temporary skate board park. There is a drinking fountain just north of the courts and a "comfort station" about a block south for the convenience of park visitors. However, the maintenance facility adjacent to the courts could be a closer washroom for use by park visitors.
A new smooth concrete surface was poured several years ago for a temporary skateboard park. With the new modern skateboard park being built near Roosevelt Rd.(12th), this area is being considered for a new purpose after 2014.
These are the two sand volleyball courts built several years ago on 3 of the underutilized tennis courts. The skateboard area is in the background, and the current (2014) remaining 6 tennis courts are to the left in this picture.
This drinking fountain just next to the tennis, skateboard and volleyball courts was apparently turned off during Lollapalooza, and the maintenance office was reminded.
This Grant Park maintenance facility appears to be a long-standing "temporary building", that probably could not legally be rebuilt because of the 1836 dedication restrictions of "no buildings..." that have consistently been upheld by Illinois Supreme Court decisions for every challenged building in the last 178 years.
Please scroll down for an expanded tennis court lighting discussion added to this webpage on August 17, 2014.
These are the existing 6 tennis courts in 2014, determined by the park district planners to be the "needed" number of courts just a few years ago, when 6 of the original 12 tennis courts were re-purposed for skateboarding and beach volleyball.
Other recent pages regarding Maggie Daley Park.
The numbers added 10-2-2014 highlight the open green space areas created in this total Maggie Daley Park project. These areas are sufficient for a game of kick ball or Frisbee and are generally numbered in order of size.
The other "open green space" areas within a mile are: Lakeshore East Park, Hutchinson Field, Butler Field, President's Garden, Cancer Survivors Garden, Millennium Park Oval, DuSable and Monroe Lakefront, Navy Pier, and Riverwalk.
Replaces 12 courts in previous park since 1976.