“City officials presented initial plans for renovation of the Iowa Building and construction of new baseball fields and a dog-friendly area (DFA) in Jackson Park at a Nov. 29 virtual meeting hosted by Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) and the Chicago Park District (CPD),
“The three projects, which are scheduled to begin construction in the spring of 2022, were included in the South Lakefront Framework Plan finished in 2018, noted Heather Gleason, CPD Director of Planning and Development.
“The Iowa Building is a pavilion located in Jackson Park just southwest of the intersection of 56th Street and S. South Shore Drive. The pavilion was constructed in 1936 by the Works Progress Administration and has not been maintained for years. In 2014 it was the site of the shooting death of 34-year-old Ovadiyah Chandler.
“Gleason said that the community engagement process for the framework plan resulted in a strong recommendation to renovate the Iowa Building as a picnic pavilion.
“To that end, Gleason said the CPD is proposing to create an ADA-accessible concrete path to the north side of the building from 56th Street, restore the building’s planters, repair the stone walls of the fountain in the building’s center and of the building itself, add lighting, do other utility upgrades, replace the roof with a new shingle roof, completely redo the bathrooms and more.
“As is the case for all three projects, the plans for renovating the Iowa Building will need to be reviewed and approved by the Illinois State Historical Preservation Office (SHPO), given the state funding for the work.” (Monaghan, Hyde Park Herald, 12/1/2021)