Grant Park Skate Plaza

Chicago Park District  |  Chicago, IL
This highly successful multiuse space; skate park, performance space and a sculpture park, is revitalizing the southern section of Grant Park. Located on a 2.5 acre parcel at the south end of Grant Park, this site is the former location of Central Station that was demolished in 1974.   
The design utilizes the changes in grade to create a series of levels for different uses and events. The southern portion of the site has long functioned as an informal community park for nearby residents. The redesign preserves this local green edge while enhancing the slope with berms and planting.
A spiraling path and curved tiered performance space play off the existing topography while also enabling easy staging and setup for temporary events and performances.
A plaza divides the performance space from the skate park proper and creates an intermediate level between stage and the skate park. The skate park is located at the level of the rail lines, allowing viewing from new overlooks and the east and west sides and from 11th Street Bridge to the north. 
The skate park design creates platforms and elements that appear as uncovered remnants of the Central Station building. The linear arrangement of elements and bands of color are reminiscent the rail lines that once occupied the site.  The design also breaks up the typical expanse of concrete normally seen in a typical skate park and introduces raised planting beds, shade trees and a central drainage swale to capture stormwater runoff for bioinfiltration.