Thread: Kenny Speaks
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:37 PM
kba kba is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 436

Originally Posted by doublem23 View Post
I'd rather look at the actual features of the park and how it interacts with its supposed "neighborhood" to determine its value to that area. There is absolutely nothing about the Cell that says it is the product of sound urban design. It's a car-centric giant that dwarfs the neighborhood (what little is left that hasn't been destroyed for it's empty parking lots) and has absolutely stunted the growth of any sort of nearby urban growth. The Cell is located 10 minutes from 2 CTA stops, 1 Metra stop, and downtown via a 16-land superhighway, it should be the center of a dense, vibrant city neighborhood, instead it sits all alone on a quite stretch of road 6 months of the year because it's simply not a facility that has any intention of coexisting in any sort of urban environment.
To be fair, the designers of New Comiskey would have had to create an urban environment almost from scratch. Old Comiskey was almost as isolated from its neighborhood as USCF is. From the time it was built, the old ballpark was surrounded by parking lots, rail yards, Armour Square park, and the old Mack Truck factory. The only side where the old ballpark ever abutted homes and businesses was on 35th (where the current park stands and where McCuddy's used to be.) But as far back as I can remember, that was never what I'd call a vibrant neighborhood.

FWIW, I've read that the residents of Bridgeport used to like that the ballpark area was empty and desolate most of the year, because it helped form a buffer between them and the African-American neighborhoods east of Wentworth. I don't know if those attitudes still exist, but I suspect there would still be a lot of skepticism from neighbors if anyone tried to build "an urban environment" around USCF.
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