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Scenes from Bessie Coleman Park
(click to enlarge)

Key Elements:
(click to link)

Lookout Point
Northerly Meadow
Harborside Promenade



In 1921, Bessie Coleman earned her pilot's license (two years before Amelia Earhart) from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale. She was the only licensed African-American pilot in the world, and was an inspiration to thousands of aviators, including the famed Tuskegee Airmen. The park at Meigs Field will honor her pioneering spirit.

One of the keys to Bessie Coleman Park is that it provides the best of all worlds: the excitement of aviation in an educational environment, combined with park elements (“parkscape”), open space, activities and programs for all Chicagoans.

Park features will include:

bulletA new lakeside overlook and observation parkland, “Lookout Point” on the east side of the peninsula.
bulletNew parkland above an underground parking garage for the Museum Campus (“Northerly Meadow.”)
bulletPublic facilities along the entire perimeter of Burnham Harbor (“Harborside Promenade.”)
bulletNew Chicago Air Museum housed in an expanded existing terminal building.
bulletNew Aircraft Restoration Annex for aviation programs in conjunction with the Chicago Public Schools and city colleges.

It is believe that the newly added parkland will constitute the largest new park added to Chicago’s lakefront in over 50 years.

In 1997, the City of Chicago published a proposal for a park on Northerly Island. Interestingly, nearly all of the elements of that plan can be incorporated into the plan for Bessie Coleman Park.

The basic premise of Bessie Coleman Park is that Chicago has an opportunity to create something exceptional, a unique public attraction that benefits every Chicagoan, at virtually no cost to the taxpayers.

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Friends of Meigs Field
P.O. Box 59-7308 , Chicago, IL 60659-7308
Voice Mail: 312-458-9250   FAX: 847-966-6168
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