The grand opening of the new 23rd District Police Station was this past Saturday, where Mayor Daley showed off the new state-of-the-art 44,000-square-foot building that was designed to achieve “gold” level certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
Featuring a green and reflective roof, state-of-the-art security, computerized crime-fighting tools, a physical fitness room, and a special room for community policing meetings, this new building, located at 850 W. Addison St., offers incentives not only to officers, but residents as well.
Deputy Alderman for the 44th Ward, Bennett Lawson, has said there are many benefits that come with the opening of the new station, including the fact that Lakeview residents will now be able to park on Addison Street, where a long row of police cars used to reside. Since a four-story parking garage was built to house the police cars that once sat on the street, residents as well as those who visit the Lakeview community will be able to use the 111 parking spots that were set aside to generate revenue.
“We’re very excited about it; we’ve been talking about a new station for 30 years now. The community is very pleased,” said Deputy Ald. Lawson.
While the Lawson has said that they are looking into repurposing the 80-year-old “Town Hall” station and possibly turning it into a landmark, one Chicago police officer who has served the 23rd district for 32 years believes the building would best be renovated into a retirement home, but feels that the force will lose a sense of intimacy once they move to the new building.
“I’ll tell you something you can’t see, and that’s the comradery that’s going to be lost because of the closeness and the smallness of the station, the coziness of the station. When guys come in off the street to wash their hands or process an arrest they sit around and talk with you and because of the sterile and openness of that [new station] that’s all going to go away,” said police officer Don Eichler.
Arlene Cozzi, who manages a high-rise building located four blocks away from the new station, believes the enormity of the new station will bring better relations between residents and the police.
“I think the new police station is better for us because it means there’s going to be more people able to go in that section. I saw through the window that they have all those tables and chairs and I think that’ll make the police more open to the people in the community,” said Cozzi.
The official opening of the station, scheduled for Nov. 22, will end the almost two-year wait for the $53 million building, which was funded by the Public Building Commission.
“The Public Building Commission builds municipally-owned facilities that provide cornerstones to communities and neighborhoods throughout Chicago, so we expect that the new police station will bring a state-of-the-art police station to the Lakeview community as well as an anchor for the community,” said Mimi Simon, spokeswoman for the Public Building Commission.
This entry was originally posted on November 17, 2010 at 7:00 am and is filed under All Politics is Local, Politics, The Editor’s Choice. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.