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My Mind Has Left My Body
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have more then a few times thought of what will happen with the industrial land around Lake Calumet. The new Red Line terminal will end almost on the door stop of the region (another 1/3 along the ROW and it would be in the heart of it). Plans to be an airport faded and it will likely never be a residential community of any sort.

So in the future should it just slowly be given back to nature? An amusement park? A music venue to replace Charter One? A proper fairgrounds like Toronto and Milwaukee have? A sports complex with a slew of fields like some burbs have built? Throw out ideas if you got 'em.
 

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A great topic. It really isn't a lake anymore, but rather a shipping harbor. Harborside Golf Course is a very nice course (especially for being municipal) making up the north end of the "lake."

I think they should turn much of it back into a wetland, in particular on the west and along the golf course. With that whole industrial area struggling, they could relocate any remaining industries to the Cal River and turn the whole thing into a wetland and park.

The only other idea I have is to put a rather large senior housing development down there to enjoy the new wetland and park.
 

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There has been talk of a state park. I really want to see this happen. I also think there is a tremendous opportunity to turn this area into a kind of "green tech" area. How appropriate it would be to rebuild the job market on the SE side of Chicago, once dominated by steel jobs, with new green jobs. I would love to see a blend of that and parkland.
 

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how about a wikipedia entry to review?

Lake Calumet
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Lake Calumet
Location Chicago, Illinois
Coordinates 41°40′48″N 87°35′24″WCoordinates: 41°40′48″N 87°35′24″W
Primary outflows Des Plaines River
Basin countries United States




Lake Calumet is the largest body of water within the city of Chicago. Formerly a shallow, postglacial lake draining into Lake Michigan, it has been changed beyond recognition by industrial redevelopment and decay. Parts of the lake have been dredged, other parts reshaped by landfill, and the surviving fragment of the lake now, with the rest of the city of Chicago, drains into the Des Plaines River and the Mississippi River basin.


[edit]
History

Lake Calumet was near the center of an extensive wetland area located within Hyde Park Township, Cook County. Because the lake's Calumet River created shipping opportunities out onto Lake Michigan, the swampy zone was rapidly filled and developed by industry in the 1880s. The area remains heavily industrialized today.[1] The Chicago neighborhood of Pullman, with its railroad passenger car factories, was sited on the lake's west shore. Steel mills began to line the Calumet River. The Illinois Central railroad was built nearby. Part of the former lakebed was used as a right-of-way for a freeway named in the lake's honor, the Calumet Expressway.

Some of the landfilling work was done with steel mill slag and other industrial wastes. The presence of hazardous chemicals in much of the fill material has led to suggestions that parts of the Lake Calumet area be added to the Superfund list. [2]

In 1996, the Calumet Expressway was renamed the Bishop Ford Freeway, honoring Chicago religious leader Bishop Louis Henry Ford at the expense of the half-infilled lake.

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Today

The remains of Lake Calumet lie east of the Bishop Ford Freeway (Interstate 94) on the far south side of Chicago, between 103rd street and 130th street. The lake itself is part of the underutilized Port of Chicago. A lakeside grain elevator can be seen from the expressway.

The vestigial lake officially lies within Chicago's South Deering community area. Cleanup efforts in former landfills areas continue as of 2009.

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Ecology

The wetlands surrounding Lake Calumet were noted for being the only location where specimens of Thismia americana, an example of endemic wet prairie flora were ever collected. Due to the profound physical changes that have taken place to the Lake Calumet catchement area, this plant is now believed to be extinct.
 

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There has been talk of a state park. I really want to see this happen. I also think there is a tremendous opportunity to turn this area into a kind of "green tech" area. How appropriate it would be to rebuild the job market on the SE side of Chicago, once dominated by steel jobs, with new green jobs. I would love to see a blend of that and parkland.
Those are great ideas. Especially with people coming up the highway. Maybe some large wind turbines in there too (if they get decent wind).
 
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