Numerous editorials and public hearings have been dedicated to the debate over the Obama Library bids and their potential effects on the city. But another proposal released by Project 120 that has flown a bit under the radar also has serious potential to reshape South Side parkland. The group advanced a $10M plan to redesign parts of Jackson Park, according to the Hyde Park Herald and DNAinfo, along with a surprise collaborator: artist Yoko Ono. Architecture fans, the long-awaited Ono/Olmsted collaboration is finally happening!
Project 120 Director Robert Karr laid out an expansive vision for the park, which includes a "sky landing" designed by Ono, which would be near the Japanese Gardens and Phoenix pavilion, a music court, new bike lanes on Harrison and repairs to the stone bridge over the Jackson Park Lagoon. Much of the money for the proposed overhaul would come from federal funds, and the project isn't linked to the University of Chicago's own Obama bid.
At a meeting earlier this week held at the University of Chicago, Karr said Ono, moved by the garden and its beauty during a visit a few years ago (possibly when she performed at the Pitchfork Festival in 2007), decided to join the project.
The Phoenix Pavilion, a gift from Japan assembled during the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, referenced the mythical bird as well as the city's recent fire. It was an inspiration for Frank Lloyd Wright's Imperial Hotel, but was later destroyed by vandals shortly after World War II.
·Yoko Ono partners with Chicago non-profit Project 120 to reimagine Jackson Park [Hyde Park Herald]
·Yoko Ono to Aid in Revamp of Jackson Park's Japanese Gardens [DNAinfo]
·Previous Project 120 coverage [Curbed]