Hitchcock Design Group
Mount Greenwood Park Playground; Chicago, Illinois
Client: Chicago Park District
Engineers: Civiltech Engineering, Inc.; Milhouse Engineering and Construction; Primera Engineers, Ltd.
Contractor: All-Bry Construction Company
Consultant: Chicago Public Art Group
Category: Design -Recreation
Home to a therapeutic recreation program, Mount Greenwood Park draws children and adults of all abilities to engage their creativity and musical curiosity. The landscape architect led the project team in the creation of a universally accessible play environment to engage these important patrons with components that focus on the development of sensory, motor, and social skills.
Mount Greenwood Park is embraced by the neighborhood and seen as an incredibly valuable asset. The park's existing playground was aging and inaccessible by children of all skills and abilities, and in need of refurbishment to better serve the needs of the community. Built within the footprint
of the existing playground, the improvements blend into the site context and protect the existing landscape. Public input and buy-in was critical to the development of the playground, so the Chicago Park District and project team collaborated closely with community members to create a place that engages and inspires children to be creative and explore.
Filled with unique play experiences, the playground is seamless in its integration of public art and interactive sculptures. Local artists from the Chicago Public Art Group (CPAG) worked with the community to design and produce colorful tile mosaic obelisks that were scattered through the park. The CPAG also commissioned the space's most distinguishing features-musical pieces created by sculptor James Brenner in collaboration with acoustical designer Jake Worley-Hood. This custom installation of unique interactive pieces contributes to the overall atmosphere of the park through elements of tone, texture, and visual aesthetic. Each piece is tuned to have an individual tone, as well as to fill a distinctive position within the ensemble.
From its ability to be used as a programmable space, to the unique integration of public art installations, the playground is a revitalized community asset and recognized as an exemplary landscape in Illinois.and the correlation between buildings and how they meet the landscape.