Neighbors celebrate $3 million Chase Park renewal

Ceremonial groundbreaking marked the beginning of a $3 million Chase Park construction project Saturday. The project will create a gateway to the park in the south east corner of the property, rebuild the current playground so that it is ADA compliant and make extensive improvements to the interior of the fieldhouse.

Ceremonial ground breaking on a $3 million renewal project for Chase Park, Saturday March 20. State Representative Greg Harris, Patrick Townsend of the Chicago Park District and Alderman Eugene Schulter.

Ceremonial ground breaking on a $3 million renewal project for Chase Park, Saturday March 20. From left, State Representative Greg Harris, Patrick Townsend of the Chicago Park District and Alderman Eugene Schulter. Credit: Patrick Boylan

Patricia Martinelli, Membership Coordinator of the Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce said the beginning of construction, expected next week, marks a major milestone in a four year effort by the community. “The one thing about Chase is that everything is handicap accessible, including a theater, a pool and now the play lot,” Martinelli said.

The playground plan calls for the removal of the current wood chips and their replacement with a material appropriate for children with limited mobility. Two separate areas will be constructed, one for older children and one with play sets appropriate for younger children.

Along Clark Street and Leland Ave a brick courtyard and gateway will mark a new center for the community. Paving bricks are being sold to help sponsor the work.

The community raised $1 million in a period of about 30 months, according to Martinelli. Matching funds were found through efforts by State Representative Greg Harris, State Senator Heather Steans and Alderman Eugene Schulter.

Harris said the state is providing about $400,000 through the state capital improvement budget. Schulter found $300,000 for the improvements through Tax Incremental Financing funds and also found $50,000 for the park gateway.Greg Harris and Eugene Schulter liked to play on the swings as  children.Patricia Martinelli remembers getting splinters on her favorite, the see-saw.

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Patrick Boylan

About Patrick Boylan

Patrick grew up near LaFollette Park on the West Side. He contends that the very best Italian beef sandwiches are made on the West Side and has a strange love of the flat pizza from that part of the city. Patrick led The Bulldog to win seven journalism awards in 2011, including four awards to Patrick as a solo or a team member. He is very proud of The Dog's coverage of politics and schools in the neighborhood. Patrick wrote for the Times of Northwest Indiana as a stringer covering Cook County Government, for the Chicago Tribune as a stringer on the Chicago Wolves and for ChicagoNow as a writer before starting The Dog. He wrote for four years for ChiTownDailyNews.org as a media commentator and spent about 20 years in operations at city newspapers, including nine years as owner of his own distribution company. Prior to that he spent about nine years in public relations. Patrick has a Masters degree from the University of Colorado. He attended Eastern Illinois University for undergrad and Weber High School and St. Peter Canisius grammar school. The two-flat he owns was built in 1912 and has never been featured, to his knowledge, in any major motion pictures despite having a way-cool garden. Patrick purchased the property in 1994 and "couldn't afford to buy it now." His daughter is a college student in California. He lives in the house with his wife, Jane, and two cats who often sit in on his phone interviews.

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