Advisory Council formed to oversee DuSable Park development
By B. David Zarley, Staff Writer
May 31, 2018
The DuSable Park Advisory Council was officially formed on May 9 in the Lake Shore Park field house – marking another promising step in the star-crossed history of the park’s development.
The parcel of land between the entrance of the Ogden Slip and the mouth of the Chicago River was designated as DuSable Park in 1987 by Mayor Harold Washington, but the plan never developed. A separate plan by the Park District to turn the spot into an outdoor parking lot in 2000 galvanized the formation of the DuSable Park Coalition, some of whose members are now part of the new DuSable Park Advisory Council (PAC). High levels of radioactive thorium from the former operations of the Lindsay Light Company delayed progress.
“We’ve been working at this for almost two decades,” said Dr. Serge JC Pierre-Louis, president of the DuSable Heritage Association and chair of the DuSable Park Coalition, while speaking to the assembled stakeholders. Attendees included Streeterville residents, SOAR, members of Friends of DuSable, the Bronzeville Children’s Museum, Alderman Reilly’s office, the Floating Museum and representatives from other local PACs.
Peggy Montes of the Bronzeville Children’s Museum motioned to form the DuSable Park Advisory Council at the evening meeting, with Russell Lewis of Friends of DuSable seconding. With support from several new members, the PAC was officially formed.
The new PAC is made up of 11 members –Montes, Lewis, Pierre-Louis, Paul Montes, Robert Starks, Dave and Carol Hinman, Faheem Majeed, Mario Holleman, Gail Spreen and Bernie Jacobs.
For the Hinmans, two Streeterville residents who live adjacent to the proposed park site, membership in the advisory council marks the first time they have joined a park organization.“We’re really excited,” Carol Hinman said. “In fact, when we bought there we thought ‘oh, someday we’ll have a park right there.’”