Marquette Park restoration blooms

2011-08-01T19:30:00Z 2011-08-01T20:45:32Z Marquette Park restoration bloomsBy Lu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent
August 01, 2011 7:30 pm  • 

GARY | Significant progress has been made this summer on the Marquette Park East Project, according to Christopher Meyers, the city's director of planning and development.

A $28 million grant for the restoration of the historic park that borders Lake Michigan was approved on June 23, 2009, by the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority.

Hitchcock Design Group of Naperville and Chicago is the lead firm chosen to design the Marquette Park Lakefront East Master Plan.

Work is expected to run into early 2012 "contingent upon site conditions and weather," Meyers said.

During June and July, eight tasks in the master plan have been completed, he said.

The invasive plant species has been cleared and trees pruned in the Oak Savannah.

The concrete base of the Marquette Park dance pavilion has been repaired and the exterior of the recreation pavilion has been cleaned. The dance pavilion is scheduled to be rebuilt.

The elevator and elevator shaft in that building have been demolished, and the pavilion's first-floor lounge has been restored to reflect its 1920s character.

The pavilion's heating and air-conditioning equipment, ductwork and piping have been removed.

Limestone curbing around the Father Jacques Marquette statue has been removed and cataloged, and the statue's monument base has had its first cleaning.

In the coming weeks, some key activities are scheduled, Meyers said, such as advertising bids for the Gary Bathing Beach Aquatorium.

Extensive work on the recreation pavilion will include interior masonry cleaning, elevator pit work, ductwork in the basement and continuing the rough-in of electrical service and exterior lighting.

Masonry reconstruction at the dance pavilion also will be started, Meyers said.

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