A couple years back I heard a rumor about a green light being given to a Burnside-style project in Chicago. Having been a long time resident of Chicago, a city famous for corruption, and the political machine, I was hesitant to believe that any alderman would risk alienating the 10 unions that would stand to lose their piece of the pie if skaters were allowed to take the DIY route. It just seemed completely un-Chicago. I don’t know if this Logan Square skatepark project is the reality of that rumor, but it blows chunks. Logan Square is my old hood, I feel for you my brothers…
[Source: Time Out Chicago Photo: Scott Judd]
Chicago proper has one dung heap of a concrete skatepark on the south side, Burnham that yes, can still be a lot of fun, but you can’t argue that it was built or designed well. Well, they learned their lesson when it came time for the second park. Wilson is a well constructed, if somewhat generic Site Design Group skatepark on the north side. Somehow or other, Logan Square ended up with prefab. The Chicago Park District feels that prefab is cheaper, and may consider a permanent concrete facility “at a later date if it proves to be popular and a good investment.” It’s essentially a self fulfilling prophesy of doom. Chicago already has another prefab park (who knew?) that apparently sucks and is falling apart, and as such, rarely gets used. However, this park will be the only one with a roof, so it may end up being heavily used by default. Now neighborhood “concerned citizens” are bummed out about a massive amount of graffiti the skatepark has attracted.
I can’t believe this travesty happened, yet on some levels I can. In the words of Chicago punk legends The Effigies:
We’re da machine,
an organized dream,
And a greased palm down at city hall,
means you walk away clean.