Canal Origins Park - CPD and I & M Canal Association - Chicago, Illinois

As the original site for the Illinois and Michigan Canal in the 1840's, this 2.8 acre site is closely tied to Chicago's historic evolution into an economic and industrial hub in the 19th century. Acknowledging this rich history and the site's status as the City's first archaeological landmark, the Chicago Park District, in cooperation with the I&M Canal Association, converted this 20th-century brownfield site into a nature park that integrates history, ecology, and art to communicate the Canal's importance in the development of Chicago. Working with a multi-disciplinary team, Conservation Design Forum developed design alternatives that provided contemporary interpretive and passive recreational uses within a landscape of native plant species. Interpretive panels, designed by local high school art students, were incorporated into a wall leading visitors to the water's edge. CDF also consulted on landscape stabilization techniques to repair a significantly degraded shoreline.

location: Chicago, Illinois
client: Chicago Park District
completed: 2003
award: US EPA & Chicago Wilderness Conservation and Native Landscape Award, 2006

Green Features

Native Landscape Systems
Remnant Landscape Restoration

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