The Chicago Park District today announced a public process to develop a long-range plan that establishes a vision for the future of the Museum Campus – with a focus on recreation, education, access, and sustainability. Working in conjunction with the recently launched Museum Campus transportation task force, the long-rage plan is expected to address new initiatives, programs, operations, and other activities. The first public meeting will be in mid-October.
“Just like every park in the City, the Museum Campus belongs to all Chicagoans,” said said Mike Kelly, General Superintendent and CEO. “Through a public process we will ensure residents throughout the city have a chance to weigh in on how these incredible resources and institutions can best serve every family and child in Chicago.”
The public process will include a combination of public meetings, interviews, panel discussions, workshops, surveys, and online engagement to reach and receive feedback from individuals, families and organizations across the City. The project will be led by the Chicago Park District, with help from architect Jeanne Gang.
Recent planning efforts in the area include the Burnham Park Framework Plan of 1999, the Grant Park Framework Plan of 2002, and the Northerly Island Framework Plan of 2008 – all of which produced visions for programming, operations, and projects in parks. The Museum Campus planning process will review and leverage these previous, successful plans and include additional public input to connect them within the broader Museum Campus, thus creating a more encompassing structure that brings the vision for these icons of Chicago together.
“The Museums in the Park, and especially those located on the Campus, look forward to working with the Chicago Park District and other stakeholders on this master plan for the Museum Campus,” said Gary Johnson, President, Chicago History Museum and President, Museums in the Park.
The area offers a wide variety of experiences – from green space and festivals, to lakefront access and native habitat, to world renowned cultural institutions, convention centers and the Bears – and record numbers of residents and tourists are visiting the area every year. With the additions of a 50-acre habitat restoration project on Northerly Island and the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, two incredible new assets that will increase education opportunities and green space for Chicagoans, this is an ideal time to define Chicagoan's vision and aspirations for this central space and economic engine in the City.
The long-range planning process will ask Chicagoans several critical questions: how can these institutions and assets better serve them; how to better leverage these assets to help our youth reach their potential in school, career, and life; how to make meaningful connections between these institutions and assets and neighborhoods; and how to move toward the future in an environmentally sustainable and fiscally responsible way.