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updated: 2/2/2018 6:58 PM

Grayslake wants a park on Grayslake Gelatin Co. site

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  • The village of Grayslake unveiled a proposal Friday to convert the space around the iconic Grayslake Gelatin Co. smokestack into a new park.

      The village of Grayslake unveiled a proposal Friday to convert the space around the iconic Grayslake Gelatin Co. smokestack into a new park.
    Mick Zawislak | Staff Photographer, 2016

 
 

The village of Grayslake is giving residents an early look at what the future could hold for the site of the old Grayslake Gelatin Co.

Friday, the village's website posted a concept plan for what's called "Gelatin Factory Park." The draft calls for an abundance of green space, walking and biking paths and several features for children and adults on the spot where the old industrial buildings once stood.

"The goal is to make it into an open space and a central part of our village center," Assistant Village Manager Brett Kryska said. The village board has been working on the concept plan with a consultant for the past several months, he added.

The draft contains several optional features that may not be part of the finished plan, such as a children's play area featuring treehouses connected by rope bridges, as well as a recirculating stream.

"This is an opportunity for the public to comment on the tentative plan," Kryska said.

Other elements include a formal oval lawn surrounding the iconic smokestack that would feature historical markers telling the story of the old factory.

Grayslake Gelatin opened in 1922 and closed in 1982. The village bought the 10-acre site for $30,000 in 2015. It demolished the old buildings that Kryska said were blighted and dilapidated.

The concept plan also calls for a small multipurpose pavilion to be built opposite the smokestack green for group events, such as yoga and Pilates. The pavilion would also have restrooms, vending and concessions.

At a Jan. 13 special meeting, the village board voted to spend $122,200 for design engineering services to develop plans for the basic elements, such as the sidewalks, storm sewer grates and other infrastructure, Kryska said.

Residents looking to provide feedback about the proposal are encouraged to call the village's request for service system at (847) 223-8515 or fill out the online form at egovlink.com/grayslake.

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