Going in circles

 See any similarities here?

The top rendering is of our own Logan Square circle circa 1928 when there were circular walking paths around the slopes of the square circle rather than the steps of today.

The bottom rendering is of what the new circle in Uptown Normal, Illinois, might look like as both plants and development continue to grow.

I was recently at a conference in Normal where I had a chance to see the Uptown Normal Circle (photo left), and it did remind me of our own square circle.  But the Uptown Normal Circle is built for these times with a stormwater storage and filtration system cum water feature for the park.

There’s a sloped lawn in the center for gathering (see components of circle in photo below) and additional lawn as a parkway separation from traffic on the outer ring.  Inside the parkway is a filtration bog that receives water from an underground stormwater cistern.  Inside the filtration bog is a ring of shade trees and benches for additional gathering.  And inside that ring is a shallow water feature fed by the water that has been filtered through the bog.  Which brings us back to the central lawn. 

Components of the Uptown Normal Circle

Besides the circular similarities to our own square’s circle’s past, I was thinking about something comparable being a prospect for the possible future expansion of Logan Square by closing off Milwaukee Avenue between eastbound Logan Boulevard and westbound Logan Boulevard as one of the conceptual designs includes a water feature (see image at Open space and Milwaukee Avenue [Part I]).  I was also lamenting the shortsightedness of the currently proposed ownership structure for the future open space south of the square that precludes a water feature (see Post-public meeting on the Logan Square public plaza). 

It’s nice to see new ideas that also work to provide a place that attracts people and offers them an opportunity to linger and gather.  Do take a look at a more detailed description of the project from the landscape architects that designed it, Hoerr Schaudt.


Fall diversions in Logan Square:

LIP’s “Unfinished-Show Us What You’re Made Of” group exhibition and opening reception, Friday, October 8, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at New Wave Coffee; show continues through October 31.


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