Parks officials hope to court more visitors to Grant Park Skate Park with a ping pong table that doubles as a skateboarding prop.
The table was installed Monday just south of the new skate park, 1135 S. Michigan Ave. Made by New York-based Henge, the steel-and-concrete table weighs 2,600 pounds, a heavy lift for the crews that put it in place.
"The park is an amazing achievement already because of skate designs," said Alan Good, CEO of Henge. "Trying to get strangers to meet each other and talk is the goal of the table."
The table was donated to the Chicago Park District by the Grant Park Conservancy, which also received it for free from Henge. There are similar tables throughout the country, but Bob O'Neill, president of the conservancy, said it was attractive for the park because skaters can also use it.
"That's multi-use. It's a direct hit for what we want to do," O'Neill said.
For now guests will have to bring their own paddles, but O'Neill said a vendor renting out table tennis gear will come to the site "eventually." A formal dedication might be scheduled in the next month, he said.