The Flying Machine in the Garden: Parks and Airports, 1918–1938
Late in the evening of the last day of March 2003, Mayor Richard Daley ordered bulldozers onto the runways at Meigs Field, Chicago’s lakefront general aviation airport. By early morning the heavy equipment had carved large X’s into the runways, dramatically marking them as closed to air traffic. Though Daley may have hoped this would be the last act in a long conflict with airport supporters, in a last-ditch effort to save the field, a group called Friends of Meigs hastily developed a plan for the dual use of the site as an airport and park. In their proposed scenario, Mayor Daley could have his long-sought lakefront park, and pilots could continue to use the airport, conveniently located near Chicago’s downtown. But the Park District of Chicago rejected the proposal in July 2003, seemingly sealing the fate of Meigs Field.
KeywordsUrban Park American City City Planning Park Department Airline Passenger
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