An expansive new public park is opening in the heart of Chicago this weekend, putting the final touches on a renewed neighborhood in the West Loop adjacent to Greek Town. Designed by Site Design Group, Adams-Sangamon Park provides neighboring condo dwellers and office workers with a place to cool off, thanks to its central misting gate installation. The little ones have a place to play too, as a children’s park and dog park bookend the green space. Two berms take up the other corners of the park, which are home to a lush collection of native grasses. The paving system even absorbs pollution and rain runoff.
The park took seven years to complete. A raised lawn in the center provides plenty of room to lay in the grass and people watch. Recycled tires were used in the padding for the children’s play area. The park’s best deal is for kids — after playing in the huge playground they can run through the missing gates to cool off. The misting gates create a localized cloud, shrouding the adjacent area around it at times. Dogs get to cool off with their own water fixtures as well. In all, the park was designed to let the varied community mix and share within a open and richly-textured environment.
The lintels used for seating are salvaged from the infirmary that the park replaced. The pavers absorb the park’s rainwater runoff from the grassy areas. Perhaps most interestingly is how the paving system can absorb pollutants from the air and fix them through a process using photocatalytic cement. The cement acts as a catalyst for oxidization of the pollutants. The pavers even stay cleaner than other products, thus reducing maintenance costs.