Please join me this Monday to learn about and contribute to the effort to redevelop Leone Beach Park and Fieldhouse. The meeting will take place Monday, October 27th, 7:00 p.m. at the Loyola Park Fieldhouse, 1230 W. Greenleaf Ave, 2nd Floor Sky Room.
I am hosting this meeting so you can hear from community members and the Chicago Park District on possible ways we to make this underused park and fieldhouse a new asset for Rogers Park residents.
Leone Beach Park is located at Touhy Avenue and the lakefront. It includes a beach, a playground close to Sheridan Road, and a 114-year-old building that has been used as a park fieldhouse for most of its existence. It is also the northern gateway in Chicago for the Lake Michigan Water Trail.
Leone Park Fieldhouse has a long history in our community. Built in 1900 as a water pumping station for the Rogers Park Water Company (see photo on left), it was purchased by the City of Chicago in 1907 and leased to the City’s Bureau of Parks and Recreation in 1919. From 1919 until the construction of the Loyola Park Fieldhouse in 1950, the Leone Fieldhouse was the primary park building on the Rogers Park lakefront.
Junior Lifeguard Program (see photo on right), which was led for 40 years by Park Supervisor Sam Leone, for whom the beach and park were named. Over the last few decades the building has fallen into a state of disrepair and is now used primarily as lifeguard boat storage during the off season.
A number of ideas for redeveloping the Leone facility have been offered over the years. This current conversation began last year as part of a proposal brought up during my Participatory Budgeting (PB) process. While the proposal didn’t fit into PB at the time, interested community members kept the conversation going.
Park District Superintendent Mike Kelly is very supportive of exploring a redevelopment plan for the fieldhouse and surrounding area and has committed members of his planning staff to developing a plan with my community.
This is where you come in. Some of the community members who have been working with my office and me want to share with you their ideas for Leone Beach and Park and get your feedback and ideas.
Planning a revitalized Leone Beach and Park and identifying a funding source to implement it will take a great deal of work and community effort.
I hope you can join us for the meeting Monday to share your ideas and get involved. If you are unable to attend please reply to this email with your comments.