Chicago to proceed with Meigs Field demolition
The Chicago Park District board of directors has voted unanimously to proceed with demolition of Chicago Meigs Field. The board, all appointees of mayor Richard Daley, refused to defer the decision even a few weeks to allow the Friends of Meigs Field to present a plan that would reopen the airport as a combined park and airport. The group claims its plan would also provide $40 million to $630 million in federal funds that could be used to improve parks across the city. According to park board president Maria Saldana, “The decision to close the airport has already been made.” Friends of Meigs Field and other Meigs advocates have been engaged in last-ditch efforts to save the field since Mayor Daley’s midnight raid on March 31, which resulted in the gouging of huge Xs in the only runway. The city has already awarded a $1.5 million contract to remove the runway and some electrical infrastructure and add topsoil to replace the runway. Ironically, funds for the demolition will come from Chicago’s department of aviation.