On Tuesday, Aug. 6, developer Related Midwest hosted a grand opening celebration for Bennett Park in Chicago’s downtown Streeterville neighborhood. Developed by Related Midwest and designed by the award-winning landscape architectural firm of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA), creator of Chicago’s Maggie Daley Park and The 606 trail, the 2-acre public park is adjacent to the developer’s new 70-story One Bennett Park residential tower, designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA).
“We are proud to have worked closely with Alderman Brendan Reilly, the Streeterville community and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates on the development and design of Bennett Park, which has transformed 2 acres of the neighborhood into a beautifully designed, dynamic public green space for all generations,” said Curt Bailey, president of Related Midwest. “Bennett Park is a point of pride for Streeterville and a gift for Chicagoans. We look forward to the community enjoying this stunning park for many decades to come.”
Bennett Park features abundant native landscaping; a central lawn bowl; a children’s playground that serves a range of ages with a play garden, large sandbox with bridges, swings and slides, a timber-climbing forest, winding trails, bench seating, stroller parking and more; two dog runs that function as play and social gathering areas for pets and pet owners; meandering pathways; and a shady grove with seating.
Alderman Brendan Reilly, the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents (SOAR), community groups and neighbors joined Related Midwest on Tuesday morning for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting before an evening event that was attended by an estimated 600 guests. The celebration included performances by Grammy-nominated children’s singer-songwriter Justin Roberts and critically acclaimed musical street theater artists Mucca Pazza, as well as a children’s balloon artist, lawn games, snacks, refreshments and welcome bags featuring promotions from local businesses.
The newly completed Bennett Park, like the high-rise that sits just east of it, was named for Edward H. Bennett, a notable Chicago architect who co-authored the transformative 1909 Plan of Chicago with Daniel Burnham.
“We share Related Midwest’s enthusiasm and that of the Streeterville community for the opening of Bennett Park, which is designed for all age groups to enjoy both during their day-to-day lives and at neighborhood events,” said Laura Solano, principal at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates. “Each space within the park functions as its own room yet connects seamlessly through the landscape, providing a variety of welcoming spaces and ever-changing scenery throughout the seasons. It truly will be an escape within the city.”
Located at 436 E. Illinois St., Bennett Park will be open daily from 7 a.m.–8 p.m.