Meigs Field - from park to airfield to park

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Meigs Field - from park to airfield to park

Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:36 pm

a little Chicago history and nostalgia

Meigs Field: Gone Under Cover of Night
My father almost never played video games, but was a big fan of Flight Simulator, as he was also an amateur pilot. While I never cared much for planes (I was more interested in trains and automobiles), I enjoyed the game as well, and loved seeing the birds-eye view of the ground from a Cessna (the commercial jets were far too complicated for a six year old). Nowadays, Google Earth offers the same thing, with much simpler controls.

But my favorite thing about the game was that the default airport, and the one we almost always took off from, was Meigs Field in Chicago.

Seeing my city in all its 32-bit glory was great, and probably is at least partially responsible for my love of digital mapping. But past 2004, the default airport of Flight Simulator was no longer Meigs Field, for a very simple reason.

It no longer existed. Late in the night of March 30, 2003, the airport was razed and large X's were placed on the runways, stranding any flight en-route to the airport, or any airplanes in its hangars.
rest of the story gives a nice history of the former lakeside airfield, which is now a park

what I didn't know is that it originally was a park with a history of its own beginning in 1909 ... then in 1922 it was decided there would be an airport, with a completion date of 1925 ... but the Great Depression prevented it from becoming so until 1946, which is when it transitioned to Meigs Field, which is what I had always known the area as

and now it has gone full circle, thanks to the 2003 political shenanigans, to once again be a park with plans for it to eventually become a lakeside oasis

Northerly Island to Soon Become Lake Michigan Oasis
Gazing at Chicago from the east, it’s impossible to ignore the city’s towering skyline. But the latest gem on the southwest shores of Lake Michigan won’t be made from glass and steel—it’s prairie grass and wetlands.

Northerly Island, a 91-acre peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan just south of the Loop, was promised a visionary makeover from Studio Gang and landscape architects JJR in 2010. Now the Chicago Park District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are preparing to break ground this fall.

The plan is to cultivate six distinct ecosystems throughout the park, to the tune of $6.65 million. From oak savannah to deep-water lagoon with underwater vegetation, the Corps will open each area of the island as it is completed.

While the project includes a concert pavilion and will still house the Adler Planetarium, Northerly Island is imagined as an oasis for nature in a state that has eradicated nearly all of the tallgrass prairie for which it was nicknamed. It’s a deferential vision of environment as architecture.

Formerly home to the Meigs Field airstrip, the manmade “island” (it’s connected to the shore by a small causeway) was planned by Daniel Burnham as the northernmost in a string of five islands extending south to Jackson Park. It was the only one actually built.

While work may begin soon on Northerly’s latest transformation, the plan calls for 20-30 years of development and ecological rehabilitation. The first portion—the island’s southern half—may be open for use within five years.
artist rendering of what it is to be :


so that article was from a few years back ... am wondering from those of you actually in Chicago if this transition has gone as planned
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