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PHOTOS: Phase 2 of Ping Tom Memorial Park Is Now Open

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Phase 2 of Ping Tom Memorial Park is now open to the public, and this morning, the Curbed staff dutifully put on our walking shoes and took a stroll around the new six-acre. Due to the success of Ping Tom's first phase, located on the south side of 18th Street, and the return of landscape architect Ernest C. Wong of Site Design Group, expectations were high. However, it's difficult to compare a just-finished park with one that's had more than a decade to grow and mature. The soil has barely settled, and the trees and other plantings need time to mature, but the potential is there for another great public space. The main focal point of the new park is a bright red boardwalk, which leans out over the bank of the Chicago River, and throughout the park there are large decorative boulders. The boardwalk then leads visitors to what appears to be a marsh-like dry creek, which will be filled with flowers and grasses. Instead of a fluid continuation of Phase 1 of Ping Tom, the boardwalk, the boulders and the dry creek feel more like a reference to one of Wong's more recent projects: Palmisano (Stearns Quarry) Park in Bridgeport. The park of course isn't completely finished yet, though. At a press conference held at Ping Tom on Monday, Mayor Emanuel announced that the park will soon be getting a $4-million boat house, designed by Jeanne Gang and Chris Lee.
· Architects Gang and Lee to design city boathouses [Cityscapes]
· Looking Forward to Phase 2 of Ping Tom Memorial Park [Curbed]