Adams-Sangamon Park

Designers: Site Design Group | City: Chicago, IL | Project Type: neighborhood park, urban park, sustainable infrastructure, recycled, stormwater management
Date Visited: 10.29.12

Location: 115 S Sangamon St Chicago, IL
Size: 1.4 acre
Cost: $19.5 million
Official Opening Date: August 21, 2010

Abstract, whimsical, and modern are the words that first came to mind on my visit to Adams-Sangamon Park, also known as Mary Bartelme Park. Located in the West Loop and surrounded by condominiums, this barely-two-year-old park welcomes visitors in with a series of silver misting gate sculptures–a great way to cool off in the summer heat.

The design of Site Design Group, a small multi-disciplinary local firm, and the product of seven years of work, the Adams-Sangamon Park raises a glass to Chicago’s sustainable infrastructure.

Site Plan. Image Credit:

The three zones in the park are delineated by the intersection of three diagonal paths: a fountain plaza, children’s play area and dog park with artificial turf. It offers respite for office workers on their lunch breaks, a welcome addition for dog-owners and lovers, and with a fantastic playground, a great place for families to bring their kids.

And, as mentioned before, the park pays a great deal of respect to sustainability: recycled tired were used to compose the rubbery pavement in the children’s play areas; earth berms are covered in native grasses; and all stormwater is captured and stored on site via permeable pavers. What’s also interesting is the park’s use of time as a design element. In referencing the site’s past as an old infirmary, architectural terracotta artifacts salvaged from the original building were embedded within its linear seat walls and the steel walls that support the planting beds are meant to oxidize over time, in order to show the progression and effects of time on the park.

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