DuSable Park design team selected
The Chicago Park District selected Ross Barney Architects’ joint venture with Brook Architecture (DuSable Park Design Alliance) to design DuSable Park; a 3.5 acre space where the Chicago River and Lake Michigan meet.
Named in honor of Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, the first non-native settler and “Founder of Chicago”, DuSable Park will become an overdue acknowledgement of the city’s history and an iconic public space.
Sited on an area of lake fill, the park was home to various industrial uses beginning in the late 1800’s. The Chicago Dock and Canal Trust Planned Development established the site as a park, and in 1987 Mayor Harold Washington dedicated the site in honor of Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable. DuSable park is positioned as both a critical piece of Chicago’s public lakefront and a cap to Chicago’s Riverwalk.
John Baptiste Pointe DuSable arrived in Chicago around 1775, establishing a trading post on the banks of the Chicago River. His success established DuSable as one of the city’s first entrepreneurs. Historian and DPDA team member, Dr. Christopher Reed, illustrates DuSable and wife Kittiwaha’s homestead and trading complex as “surrounded by a bakehouse, a milkhouse, a smokehouse, a chicken house with ‘44 big hens’, a workhouse, a cow house, and a barn that housed ‘30 big horned beasts’. DuSable’s economic involvement in this trading sphere depended on maintaining good political relations with the dominant ethnic force in the Chicago plain, the Bodéwadmik (Potawatomi). His fluency in language, his marriage into the group, and his positive attitudes towards non-European peoples no doubt contributed to his success. The scope of economic activities ranged from merchandising pork, flour, and bread to hunters, fur trappers and settlers; to selling manufactured items resulting from the skill as a cooper and carpenter. He benefited from the monopoly held in the absence of competition.”
A DuSable Park
B Navy Pier Flyover
C Lake Shore Drive Bridge
D 400 North DuSable Lake Shore Drive Site
E Polk Bros Park at Navy Pier
DuSable Park will join a series of recent investments including the Navy Pier Flyover, Polk Bros Park at Navy Pier, and Related Midwest’s proposed 400 North DuSable Lake Shore Drive, which will be connected to DuSable Park with a riverwalk.
About DuSable Park Design Alliance
The DuSable Park Design Alliance (DPDA) is a unique, diverse, and inclusive joint venture formed to provide the bold, innovative, and collaborative design services demanded by the mission and spirit of the DuSable Park project. DPDA is founded, owned, and led by an African American, women-owned architectural design firm (Brook Architecture) and a women-owned architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design studio (Ross Barney Architects). The firms represent two of Chicago’s most recognized and respected design leaders. DPDA has assembled a majority minority and women-owned consultant team to collaborate on the realization of DuSable Park:
- Sylvain Studios (Art Curator)
- Dr. Christopher Reed (Historian and DuSable Scholar)
- MBDB (Community Engagement)
- sColeman Design (Graphics and Wayfinding)
- Dynasty Group (Surveying)
- David Mason (Civil and Structural Engineering)
- Wang Engineering (Engineering)
- Alfred Benesch (Marine Engineering)
- Delta Engineering (Electrical Engineering)
- Hugh Associates (Lighting Design)
- Concord Group (Cost Estimation)
DuSable Park and Checagou (Chicago) reside on the traditional homelands of the Hoocąk (Winnebago/Ho’Chunk), Jiwere (Otoe), Nutachi (Missouria), Baxoje (Iowas), Kiash Matchitiwuk (Menominee), Meshkwahkîha (Meskwaki), Asâkîwaki (Sauk), Myaamiaki (Miami), Waayaahtanwaki (Wea), Peeyankihšiaki (Piankashaw), Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo), Inoka (Illini Confederacy), Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe), Odawak (Odawa), and Bodéwadmik (Potawatomi).
As the DuSable Park Design Alliance begins work it is committed to elevating and celebrating Native American voices, past and present.