Love it or hate it, Dearborn park is a core component of the South Loop as it literally sits in the middle of our neighborhood. As some know, there were two phases to the development of the greater Dearborn Park area.
Dearborn Park 1, which was built in the 70's, runs from Clark on the West, Polk on the North, State on the East and Roosevelt on the South. It's sister property, Dearborn Park 2, extends South past Roosevelt all the way down to 18th street (the west and east borders remain the same).
This video from YoChicago raises an interesting question, Could Dearborn Park have been the South Loop's savior without also blighting it?
Essentially the argument is that back in the 70's Dearborn park had to be built the way it was (walled off from the area) to alleviate safety concerns for potential residents. Fast forward to today and the neighborhood is a completely different place. While there are some safety concerns (similar to most other neighborhoods close to the Loop), it's a much safer area with a burgeoning retail scene.
Many people we have talked to detest the closed off nature of these developments and how they disrupt the "city grid". But the question remains, was dearborn park one of the first steps into making the South Loop a viable residential neighborhood? and if so was it necessary to build a walled community?
What are your thoughts?
(video from Yochicago.com)