Chicago 2016 Olympic bid – Historical Park or Reinvigorated Landscape – Opinion

Chicago’s Olympic 2016 bud organizers have changed the location of the aquatics centre to the west side of Washington Park next to the proposed Olympic Stadium however this has not gone done too well with local historians and residents as the park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The other cause for concern is Washington park was designed by the father of American landscape architecture Fredrick Law Olmsted (also designed of New York’s Central Park). This last point causes more concern from historians and landscape architects across the USA.

This raises a few questions about the role of landscape and landscape architects in society.

Are landscape designs meant to be kept as historical records of the past when they were built or are they meant to evolve with the uses, needs and wants of the city’s citizens?

Are the landscape designs created today envisioned for the future 100 years or the next 10–25years?

For what I have gleaned from the internet that Washington park has itself gone through numerous changes such as sheep grazing, and a conservatory which no longer exist in the park.

We often hold designs of the past in high esteem due to their perceived historical value and romantic notions of place. However, this can often impede or restrict development of landscapes and the possibilities of creating new places that could invigorate a city. Continuing to maintain parks as a historical record or picture postcard landscape often hinders landscape design and management as any change is often seen by users as desecrating the “great” design. This often occurs in landscapes around the world with the replacement or changes to park buildings or trees.

Although landscapes are integral to daily lives and wellbeing of residents changing the design of a landscape such as a park can often reinvigorate the landscape and attract new visitors from around the city and great a new sense of energy and activity in the park.

The Olympic bid should be about the Games and winning for the right reasons, as we have seen in the past Olympics can rejuvenate a city’s community and landscape.

For more information on the Olympic Bid goto Chicago 2016

Also goto the starting point for this op-ed piece
[SOURCE: Chicago Tribune – Chicago Olympic venue switcheroo: Right for the city's bid, but right for its historic parks?]


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Groundbreaking today on new Salvador Dali Museum – St. Petersburg Times

St. Petersburg Times reports

“The future home of the Salvador Dali Museum is a blank canvas, a smooth greensward adjacent to the Mahaffey Theater on the downtown waterfront.

The design by Tampa-based architect Yann Weymouth of the international firm HOK has to serve two practical imperatives: display the collection, the most comprehensive in the world, to best advantage; and protect it from the ravages of a possible storm, up to a Category 5 hurricane, with 18-inch concrete walls.”

[SOURCE: St. Petersburg TimesGroundbreaking today on new Salvador Dali Museum]

Chicago Park District looking for D&C Admin for North Grant Park

RFQ for North Grant Park Renovation: Design & Construction Administration Services

REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS to establish a “short list” of companies (no less than three, but probably no more than five) to receive the by-invitation-only Request for Proposal for design & construction administration services for the renovation of the north-east corner of Grant Park (Daley Bicentennial Plaza, Cancer Survivor’s Garden, and Peanut Park). Submitters MUST have successful experience with projects of comparable scope and magnitude, with particular expertise in landscape architecture, civil engineering, and playground design. There will be a pre-submittal meeting at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, December 15, 2008, in the Lower Level Conference Room of the Administration Building, 541 North Fairbanks Court, 60611.

Find the full RFQ on the Chicago Park District Website (http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/ ).

Spec No: P-08041
Buyer: Ann C. Boger
Active Date: 12/04/08
Due Date: 12/29/08
Contact Phone Number: 312-742-4429
Email: ann.boger@chicagoparkdistrict.com

 


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Project alters course of river – Statesman Journal

Statesman Journal reports

“A $1.2 million project at Willamette Mission State Park soon will allow the Willamette River to flow through a 2-mile channel blocked by a dike since the 1940s.
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It is one of a handful of key restoration projects identified by the state for partially returning the Willamette River to its historical meandering course.”

[SOURCE: Statesman Journal – Project alters course of river | StatesmanJournal.com]

Penn State students solve problems of vacant city lots

Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports

“Ten Penn State students have turned vacant lots into designer lots in four neighborhoods — at least conceptually.

At the Connelley Learning Center in the Hill District yesterday, the landscape architecture students displayed solutions to blighted lots, stormwater run-off and underused existing green spaces in Beltzhoover, Hays, the Hill and Lincoln Place. Two designs were for a white water rafting venue in the Neville Island back channel of the Emsworth lock and dam.”

[SOURCE: Pittsburgh Post Gazette – Penn State students solve problems of vacant city lots].

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