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Northerly Island: Now What?

By aaroncynic in News on Nov 10, 2009 9:40PM

Photo of Northerly Island in winter by Jake Merten

Northerly Island - home to 12th Street Beach, a temporary Charter One Pavilion, the Adler Planetarium and the vacant remains of Meigs Field - needs a makeover, according to the Chicago Park District. The man-made island would have temporarily housed a 20,000 seat Olympic beach volleyball stadium along with a canoe and kayak slalom course, but we all know how that panned out. Tonight, Chicagoans will get a chance to hear ideas and provide feedback to the Chicago Park District on the fate of the island.

Plenty of ideas have already been tossed around, from making the Charter One Pavilion more permanent to a migratory bird sanctuary. Keeping Northerly Island’s history in mind and with plans for a casino already ruled out, planners are likely to keep things at least moderately nature friendly. Grant Park Conservancy will co-host the public forum tonight with the Park District at the Spertus Institute (610 South Michigan Ave) from 6 to 9 p.m. In an interview with the Tribune, President Bob O’Neill said “With the rejuvenation and improvements to Northerly Island, it's history-making because of its significance in Chicago. It's a great opportunity for people to be a part of that.”