Late last week, Alderman Reilly sent an email out to his constituents announcing some "some exciting new improvements and renovations" for Connors Park, a small, triangular park in the Gold Coast. The park, overrun by vagrants and vandals and neglected by the Park District, is in need of a custodian, and Reilly found one in Argo Tea. Under the 15-year deal, Argo will build a 1,200-square-foot shop in the middle of the park, assuming responsibility for park maintenance. In a city obsessed with privatization, is there any scrap of property too sacred to be auctioned off to the highest bidder? Lynn Becker, who knows the pint-size park well, has some legitimate quibbles with the project, accusing Reilly of downplaying the size and impact of the teahouse, and describing it as "the urbanism of exhaustion and surrender" (a nice turn of phrase). Becker makes some valid points, but we won't rehash them here. Head over to his blog to read his full response.
· Destroying a Park to Save It: The Tea House that Ate Connors Park [ArchitectureChicago PLUS]