FALL 2016

The Penny Park Renovation is scheduled to begin September 12, 2016, with project completion expected by late December 2016.

To view a copy of the presentation about the renovation made at the City meetings in August, which includes the new proposed renovation plans, click here:
Evanston Penny Park Renovations August 2016




Penny Park is a beloved and unique park and playground located at 1500 Lake Street, Evanston, IL. Penny Park was constructed in 1990 through the hard work and dedication of many community members, including children who collected their pennies to help fund the building of the park. The funding and construction of the Park in 1990 was completed entirely through community donations of money, materials, and time. The City contributed the land.

Click here to view a touching homemade documentary called “The Making of Penny Park,” which chronicled this community effort.

Part of Penny Park’s charm is that it is constructed nearly entirely of wood, with very few design elements that are appropriate for only one form of play or one age range. At Penny Park, kids of all ages can freely wander and explore, and any wooden beam can be part of a climbing wall, any nook can be a secret room in a castle, and any platform can be whatever our children imagine it can be.

In 2013, the City of Evanston announced that it planned to entirely demolish and build a new Penny Park. When concerned residents questioned the need for such a drastic action, the City claimed that the primary reasons it is planning to renovate Penny Park are due to:
failing play equipment ” and “lack of compliance with critical safety and accessibility standards.”

Following months of expressions of community concern, organizing, and action, In 2015 the City Council canceled the original plans to demolish the park and replace it with a different kind of playground. The Council voted to cancel the contract with the original designer and builder, ordered a third party inspection of the park, issued an open bid for new companies to handle the renovation, and committed to renovating the park in a way that remains true to the original spirit and character of the park. The City also committed to involving the community from the outset in the renovation process, and that time has come!