The Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners recently approved a professional services agreement with the landscape architecture firm of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. for the design and construction administration services for the North Grant Park Renovation Project.
After a competitive bid process, the contract awarded was for a total of $4,257,000, for a contract period of three years, with two, one-year extension options.
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. is well known for notable projects such as Teardrop Park in New York City, Bailey Plaza Park at Cornell University and Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York City to name a few.
“The Chicago Park District is thrilled to be able to work with the world class landscape architecture firm of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. for the North Grant Park Renovation Project,” said Chicago Park District Board President Gery Chicago.
“We are confident their work will yield a world class design for Chicago’s historic Grant Park.”
“This area of Grant Park is not only utilized by thousands of nearby residents, but by tourists from around the country and the world as well,” said Timothy J. Mitchell Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO.
“It’s only fitting that this project be helmed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc, a design firm whose experience has successfully shown imagination, inclusiveness, and emphasizes nature and discovery.”
The scope of services for Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. will include the following:
- collection and review of all available plans
- design guidelines and information on the North Grant Park project area
- development of a project-specific website capable of soliciting and receiving public comments
- concept plan development and refinement concurrent with informed public meetings
- production of construction documents
- the bid process
- construction contract award
- final permitting
- extensive coordination with the garage renovation project
- the Chicago Children’s Museum project
- coordination with other City departments and agencies as required
The North Grant Park Project addresses a 25-acre area in the northeast corner of Grant Park, composed of three distinct sections: Daley Bicentennial Plaza, the Cancer Survivor’s Garden, and Peanut Park.
Daley Bicentennial Plaza functions both as a neighborhood park for thousands of nearby residents, as well as the terminus for the BP Bridge that extends eastward from Millennium Park and brings national and international visitors to the site.
Cancer Survivor’s Garden is a contemplative, commemorative space that frames the vista that connects Grant Park with the Burnham Park Museum Campus and the Field Museum in particular.
Peanut Park is a passive, underutilized space between the Cancer Survivor’s Garden and Lake Shore Drive.
Underneath Daley Bicentennial Plaza lies the East Monroe Street Parking Garage which is scheduled to undergo renovation next year. This will require the removal of the Daley Bicentennial Plaza in its entirety.
Following the garage project, the Chicago Children’s Museum will relocate to the site of the current field house at the Daley Bicentennial Plaza and provide a new field house space for the Park District.
These projects create a unique opportunity to design and construct a world-class, multi-functional, contemporary park space that makes contextual sense and properly connects the disparate spaces that comprise North Grant Park.