CHICAGO (CBS) – Austin Town Hall Park on the city’s West Side could be the recipient of a makeover worth up to $50,000.
The park is one of 10 sites across the country contending for renovations from the Maxwell House “Drops of Good” program.
The Web site for the program says the field house for the park stands “like a beacon of hope,” and empowers neighborhood residents with dance, music and theater program.
“By nurturing self-expression, self-respect, and self-worth, they’re making strides in breaking the cycles of poverty, violence and incarceration,” the Web site says.
The theater in the field house is specifically in need of renovations, the Web site says.
The park, located at 5610 W. Lake St., was once the site of the Cicero Town Hall, back when Austin was part of suburban Cicero Township along with Oak Park, Cicero and Berwyn. Austin was annexed to the city in 1899, and in the 1920s, architects Michealsen and Rognstad designed the present-day field house, using Independence Hall in Philadelphia as a model, according to the Chicago Park District.
In the “Drops of Good” contest, Austin Town Hall Park is competing for the $50,000 renovation with Adamsville Recreation Center in Atlanta; the Advisory Committee of Liberty City Youth in Miami; the Brightwood Community Center in Indianapolis; the C.E. McGruder Family Resoruce Center in Nashville; the Community Education Center in Philadelphia; the Grow Haus in Denver; the Mill Brook Community Center in the South Bronx in New York City; the Sabathani Community House in Minneapolis; and the Watts Community Center in Los Angeles.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Austin Town Hall Park was coming in last in the contest, with 9,487 votes. All the others had at least 15,000 votes, and the Miami contender had nearly 40,000 votes.
But regardless of where they finish, Austin Town Hall Park and all the other recipients will receive $5,000 each. The five with the most votes will get the $50,000.