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Construction Draws Near For Northerly Island Makeover

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Mayor Daley's controversial decision to bulldoze the former Meigs Field was a political masterstroke that transformed an airstrip for the elite into parkland for the masses. But even as the 91-acre man-made peninsula was enjoying a second lease on life, there's always been a nagging sense that more could be done to improve the park, which is mainly haphazard greenspace dotted by the occasional wildflower. Enter Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects, who was brought in to provide a new vision for the park. Her firm worked with JJR, a landscape architecture firm, to draft the Northerly Island Framework Plan that calls for, among other things, six ecosystems and a deep-water lagoon. Now, it appears that Northerly Island may finally be getting its long-awaited makeover. Chicago Journal is reporting that the first phase of construction on the southern portion of the island could begin as early as fall, and is expected to take two years to complete--with an additional three years needed for the foliage to mature. The cost: $6.65M, to be paid for with federal grant money and $1.5M in park district funds. Check back for more updates!
·Gang: Northerly Island To Be "a Millennium Park of Nature" [Curbed Chicago]
·Northerly Island revamp kicking off [Chicago Journal]