Oak Park's Scoville Park to re-open June 1


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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

The ambiguous "opening spring 2013" question has been solved: Scoville Park, the historic landmark at Lake Street and Oak Park Avenue will officially re-open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 1.

The park opens just a day before the annual A Day in Our Village festival that's held the first Sunday in June.

The 11-month renovation, which cost more than $2 million, was paid for partially by the Park District of Oak Park, but $1.6 million of the bill was paid through an Illinois Department of Natural Resources grant.

The park board budgeted $725,000 for its part of the project.

Scoville's redo comes with new tennis courts, a playground, interior pathways, a brick-paved plaza around the World War 1 monument and a permanent stage for entertainment on the south side of the park. Some additional decorative fences, new landscaping — including a plethora of new trees — and new family restrooms are features of the park.

The Scoville Master Plan project launched in 2010 when six focus groups were held to collect information on the current and future uses of Scoville Park. Community meetings were held in March and April of that year before preliminary concepts were presented.

A questionnaire was distributed to gather additional information before two more community meetings were held.

Between summer 2010 and the end of August, there were four park board meetings about the site plan before it was adopted.

Construction at the park began in August 2012.

Email: anna@oakpark.com Twitter: @AnnaLothson

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Reader Comments

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Comment Policy

INOP from Oak Park  

Posted: May 6th, 2013 11:36 AM

Weren't there always public restrooms in the park over by the playground and tennis courts. Why the big outcry about the public restrooms since they were there before the park renovation too? I don't get some of you people sometimes. Always have to find the downside about everything.


Posted: May 6th, 2013 10:34 AM

What's the obsession with "real names" on OP.com? Nobody else on the internet uses real names, yet people here always bring it up. It makes me laugh every time.

Ana from Oak Park from Oak Park  

Posted: May 6th, 2013 10:02 AM

Jack the snake, sounds like you're more concerned about the "youths" than you are about the park. And Resident, what's up with the moniker. What else are you two hiding, other than your real names?

Marty Bracco from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 5th, 2013 2:44 PM

Resident..the park and the area you speak of is fully ADA compliant. Professional park planners, architects, village engineers and public safety officials have been involved in the design from the start. Park safety, security, and accessibility have been front and center in all discussions and the numerous public meetings. If you have professional ADA knowledge & feel something is missing, feel free to contact Jan Arnold, PD Executive Director (and kindly use your real name!). Regarding holding off the opening to allow sod & plantings further time, this is simply prudent park management and has been communicated consistently. I'm sure you'd be first to complain (with a moniker) if the sod came up or plants died due to the park being opened too soon. It will be open soon enough and we'll all be able to enjoy it for decades to come.

Joe Lyons  

Posted: May 5th, 2013 9:44 AM

Sorry, that's (708) 358-5429.

Joe Lyons from Oak Park  

Posted: May 5th, 2013 9:38 AM

Any graffiti should be reported to the Village's graffiti hotline at (708) 358-5492. In the case of school playgrounds, D97 should be contacted also. I would hope that D97 doesn't allow gang graffiti it is aware of to stay unrepaired on it's property.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 5th, 2013 6:38 AM

Jake, I'm not sure what your point is? The park is public, open to everyone and anyone. Whatever colors that fly there, I hope they will be peaceful.

Jake the snake  

Posted: May 5th, 2013 1:05 AM

villager, I worry you because I saw gang graffiti and recognized it (because I bother to do my research), as oppose to sticking my head in the sand about "problems" that enter our village? It's people like you that worry me, because you'd rather pretend that we don't have these kinds of problems, as oppose to acknowledge them. So you're more worried about me, than potential gangbangers from outside Oak Park coming into out children's school playgrounds? You're the problem.

Resident from Oak Park  

Posted: May 4th, 2013 11:07 PM

Plus, the sidewalk from the band area to the Lake Street sidewalk does not look ADA compliant! Who designed this and who checked this when they were building it?

Resident from Oak Park  

Posted: May 4th, 2013 10:45 PM

This is taking way too long, no excuses. Open the park! The other plantings that need various times to be planted can be done after the opening. Just as if they were doing maintenance in the future. Are they going to shut down the whole park when they need to do maintenance?

Velna Kolodziej from Oak Park  

Posted: May 4th, 2013 11:24 AM

Who will be using them-people like me who have all the bathrooms in my area memorized! About time! European bathrooms may not always be aesthtically pleasing but they are THERE. Security cameras at entrances a good idea, too.

Marty Bracco from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 4th, 2013 9:58 AM

Theresa is correct, the opening was pushed out to allow plantings to take, but primarily to allow the sod in the meadow to firmly take root as well. The sod was laid a bit later than planned due to some weather-related construction delays.


Posted: May 4th, 2013 9:01 AM

Better that the restrooms be there and open with a little graffiti than people having to go in the bushes! If we're that concerned with who is using them, put up a security camera.

villager from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 3rd, 2013 10:47 PM

I'm worried about people with names like "Jake the Snake" that know way too much about what is or is not carved into the top of children's playground equipment at OP playground. This worries me more than interlopers coming across our borders. It was OP kids that set fire to dumpsters behind 800 North Blvd. a couple of weekends ago...very close to Scoville Park, just so you know.

Jake the snake  

Posted: May 3rd, 2013 10:04 PM

Yes, Bridgett, you won't be the only one's appreciating the restrooms. Like Sherry said, we can look forward to "youths" from outside of Oak Park appreciating them too, with their pens and selection of gang graffiti. Same thing with the playgrounds in east Oak Park... Ever notice the "4 Corner Hustlers" (one of the most violent Chicago gangs) graffiti carved into the top of the slide at the Whittier playground? I can only imagine a "youth" with a knife did that. Not very comforting.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: May 3rd, 2013 9:12 PM

Yay! We won't be able to make the ribbon-cutting, but will enjoy the park later in the day, and beyond. And as a mom of two children, I appreciate restrooms. :-)

Teresa Powell  

Posted: May 3rd, 2013 8:00 PM

I understand that there were plantings that needed to be finished before the park could reopen; thus the delay to be sure all was ready.

Neighbor from Oak Park  

Posted: May 3rd, 2013 7:49 PM

Hard to please people around here sometimes. I'm looking forward to the reopening! The picture looks inviting and beautiful.


Posted: May 3rd, 2013 6:28 PM

Oh great. Public restrooms for non-Oak Parker's to come in and deface with gang slogans and graffiti.

David Tartakoff from Oak Park  

Posted: May 3rd, 2013 5:49 PM

What took so long? It looked ready to open for weeks now, and was very frustrating not to be able to use it but have to walk outside those 'beautiful' metal fences.

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