American Wins Chicago Marathon + Grant Park Security Concerns: Top 5 Stories In and Around Grant Par
The month of October was as busy as ever in and around Grant Park. An American places first at The Bank of America Chicago Marathon, the numbers are in for the clean up after Lollapalooza, Feds uncover an unsettling link between Lollapalooza and the Las Vegas shooter, and more ...
For the first time in over a decade, an American has won the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. This year’s champion, Galen Rupp, clocked in at 2:09:20 to edge out several others from countries around the world, including defending champion Abel Kirui. The Chicago Marathon was Rupp’s fourth marathon.
The Chicago Marathon starts and ends at Grant Park. Photo: Paul Beaty/AP
In its 13th wildly successful year, 400,000 attendees visited Grant Park for the popular Lollapalooza music festival from August 3 - 6, 2017. While a beloved music festival like this is great for city tourism and culture, it also impacts the park.
The concern comes up on a yearly basis after the cleanup operations close portions of Grant Park for several weeks. In addition to footing the bill for any repairs needed to be made (anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million), Lollapalooza organizers also raise millions of dollars for Chicago’s neighborhood parks on an annual basis. In 2017, Lollapalooza organizers paid $515,000 for the festival cleanup in Grant Park and raised over $5 million for Chicago's neighborhood parks and contributed $200 million to Chicago's economy. Lollapalooza has also helped pay for the construction of Maggie Daley Park, the Buckingham Fountain plaza renovation, Solti Garden, hundreds of new trees planted in Grant Park and many other projects.
Grant Park has directly raised over $120 million for Chicago's neighborhood parks in just over a decade.
Speaking of Lollapalooza, Chicagoans reacted with strong emotion when they found out that the suspect in the recent Vegas shooting, Steven Paddock, booked rooms at the Blackstone Hotel during Lollapalooza. The Blackstone Hotel overlooks Grant Park, the festival’s venue.
Although Lollapalooza tries to put the best security practices in place, this news caused some worry about security for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon with the marathon beginning and ending in Grant Park. In a quick response by City of Chicago officials, the Chicago Police Department added 1,000 more police officers to the streets during the marathon and “triple checked” security systems and scenarios to ensure the safety of everyone participating in the Chicago Marathon
The Grant Park Conservancy donation to the park of a "skateable" ping pong table sculpture that was enjoyed by many was destroyed beyond repair by criminals even though it was solid concrete and made to withstand an extreme amount of wear and tear. The Grant Park Conservancy and Grant Park Advisory Council are working closely with Chicago Park District security to address these issues at the Skate Park.
The Urban Buddha sculpture, a temporary, year-long-installation came to an end. The Grant Park Conservancy is actively seeking other sculptures for the sculpture area of the Skate Park. Also, the Grant Park Conservancy and Chicago Park District were able to secure a huge donation of flowering bushes and perennials that will be planted in all the garden areas and planters at the Skate Park in the spring. Bailey Nurseries out of St. Paul, MN is making the donation. They are the largest wholesale nursery in the country and all of the plant material has been selected.
To say that the South Loop is booming with real estate construction, would be an understatement. The South Loop neighborhood is conveniently situated near Grant Park, central business districts, top colleges and universities, hot bars and restaurants, established hotels and the newly minted expansion of the McCormick Place campus into what is now being called ‘McCormick Square’ that includes the new $193 million, approximately 10,000 seat Wintrust Arena. All of these elements makes the South Loop a highly attractive neighborhood to live, work and play in Chicago and we can expect to see a sharp increase in the area’s population in the coming years making proper planning and improvements to Grant Park a vitally important component to the quality of life for South Loop residents.
Here is a list of some of the most exciting real estate developments coming to the South Loop:
One Grant Park (76 stories, 792 rental apartments)
Essex on the Park (56 stories, 479 rental apartments, connects to existing hotel)
1326 S Michigan Avenue (47 stories, 500 rental apartments)
Eleven40 (26 stories, 320 rental apartments)
1407 on Michigan (15 stories, 199 rental apartments)
1101 S Wabash (29 story hotel, 281 hotel rooms)
30 East Apartments (16 stories, 134 rental apartments)
Alta Roosevelt (33 stories, 496 rental apartments)
Marriott Marquis (30 story hotel, 1,205 hotel rooms)
Hilton Garden Inn McCormick Center (combined 466 hotel rooms)
Ancora at Riverline (28 stories, 452 rental apartments)
SoMi (47 stories, 500 rental apartments)
Despite the “Second City” name, Chicago nabbed top honors at the Conde Nast Traveler 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards, beating New York, San Francisco and Honolulu. This award comes after the city was named ‘Restaurant City of the Year’ by the magazine.
Photo: Adam Alexander Photography