CHICAGO (CBS) — A day after the push to rename Outer Lake Shore Drive after the city’s first non-indigenous resident stalled in City Council, Mayor Lori Lightfoot doubled down on her rival proposal to honor Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable by creating the DuSable Riverwalk, including public statues and art work and creating an annual “DuSable Festival.”
Two aldermen on Wednesday threw up a roadblock on Ald. David Moore’s (17th) proposed ordinance to rename Outer Lake Shore Drive from Hollywood Avenue to 67th Street after DuSable, delaying the vote until the next City Council meeting.READ MORE: Weekend Guests At Six Flags Great America Say Crowds, Closed Rides, Huge Fight Involving 20 People Ruined Their Experience
The move infuriated Moore, who retaliated by delaying several proposed ordinances that other aldermen later introduced at Wednesday’s meeting, in particular targeting items brought forth by Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) who led the effort to delay the renaming ordinance.
Wednesday afternoon, Lightfoot’s office sent out a press release touting her own plan to honor DuSable, by renaming the Chicago Riverwalk after him, finally completing construction of DuSable Park, first proposed by Mayor Harold Washington in the 1980s, installing sculptures and public art in the park and along the Riverwalk, and creating an annual “DuSable Festival.”
For the first time, the mayor’s office also confirmed her plan would cost $40 million — $30 million coming from the city, and $10 million from a private developer building two nearby high-rise apartment towers nearby.
DuSable Park is being built on an undeveloped piece of Chicago Park District Property just south of Navy Pier. The mayor’s office said the Chicago Park District will be seeking bidders later this year to begin the design and construction of the park.
Lightfoot’s office said her plan also would call for the installation of a sculpture and other public artwork at the point where the Chicago River’s north and south branches meet, paying tribute to DuSable and his wife, Kitihawa, who together founded the first non-indigenous settlement that would become Chicago.
The sculpture and artwork would be visible to both visitors to the Riverwalk and to commuters on the ‘L” trains that cross the Chicago River.READ MORE: Massive Chemical Plant Fire In Rockton, Illinois, Could Burn For Days
In addition, the city plans to install a monument to DuSable near the DuSable Bridge at Michigan Avenue, and to upgrade existing tributes and signs near the bridge, which is near the site of the DuSable homestead.
The mayor’s office said the city would host regular educational programming along the renamed DuSable Riverwalk, and host an annual “DuSable Festival” every August on the anniversary of his death.
Notably, Lightfoot’s proposal does not include any to rename Lake Shore Drive.
Moore’s proposal to rename Outer Lake Shore Drive had won the unanimous support of the City Council Transportation Committee last month, and supporters have said they have the votes to pass it when the full City Council finally takes it up.
Lightfoot has pushed back on the proposal to rename Lake Shore Drive, claiming some critics have told here there wasn’t enough time to properly debate the plan, even though Moore first introduced his ordinance in October 2019.
“I think what I’ve heard from people in the city, there’s a lot of folks who oppose any changing of Lake Shore Drive. It’s one of the most iconic assets that the city has. When you say Lake Shore Drive, people know you’re talking about Chicago, and I think that that’s very important,” she said. “What I’ve also heard from folks is, ‘Hey, we haven’t had enough time to talk about this, to debate this.’ The museums come into mind. There are other organizations and other parts of the city who have an impact, or are impacted by Lake Shore Drive. So I think we need to make sure that those voices are heard.”
Moore has said he sees the mayor’s proposal as an appropriate complement to renaming the outer Drive after DuSable, not as an alternative. He has estimated the renaming plan at about $2.5 million, compared to the $40 million cost for the mayor’s proposal.MORE NEWS: Mayor Lori Lightfoot Backs Declaring Juneteenth An Official City Holiday Starting Next Year
According to published reports, Moore and Ald. Sophia King (4th) also plan to call for a special City Council meeting to vote on the name change before the next regular City Council meeting on June 23. Moore also threatened to use parliamentary measures to delay other City Council items in the future until the ordinance to rename Outer Lake Shore Drive after DuSable is approved.