Cascade Park, the final phase of the Lakeshore East development, marked its grand opening Wednesday afternoon with a celebration attended by project developers, architects and community residents.
The new park, constructed alongside the Cascade and Cirrus towers through a partnership between Lendlease and Magellan Development Group, was designed by Claude Cormier + Associés and created with the assistance of the architectural firm Confluence.
In addition to an ADA-accessible path linking North Harbor Drive and Lower Lake Shore Drive, the park features passive wellness sculptures; Cascade Bark, an outdoor dog run; and an improved bike and walking path connecting Lakeshore East Park to DuSable Harbor.
"If any of you live in the neighborhood, you remember what it was like two years ago, before we started the development, and we really just had a vacant site and an alley to walk through," said Ted Weldon, executive general manager of development for Lendlease's Chicago office. "We spent a lot of time thinking ... How could we open up the site? How could we improve the connection to the lake? How could we preserve views for our neighbors?"
Thomas Kerwin of bKL Architecture, who played an integral role in designing the project's master plan, described creating the park as "most intensive public processes" his firm had experienced.
"This is your home," he told the Lakeshore East residents who turned out for the celebration. "Many of you had a role in shaping this park, and we hope you will enjoy it for decades to come."