Yoko Ono, artist and widow of the late Beatles member and solo artist John Lennon, has partnered with the not-for-profit organization Project 120 Chicago to revitalize the landscape of Jackson Park.
The organization, founded as a civic public-private partnership with the Chicago Park District in 2013 will use both federal and private funds to overhaul Jackson Park, which was designed by renowned landscape artist Frederick Law Olmsted for the 1893 Columbian Exposition. Olmsted’s other works include Central Park in Manhattan, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, and the U.S. Capitol grounds in Washington, D.C.
“The intent and mission of Project 120 Chicago, in partnership with the Chicago Park District and the community is to plan, develop, and carry out improvements in Jackson park that respect, preserve, and renew the character of the landscape,” according to the project’s website.
The project consists of four parts, one of which is Yoko Ono’s Sky Landing. Sky Landing will be situated on the footprint of the original Phoenix Pavilion, a gift from Japan at the close of the Columbian Exposition that was vandalized during World War II. It is next to the Osaka Japanese Gardens on Wooded Island.
Sky Landing is the first major public commission by Yoko Ono in the United States. She visited the Park in 2013.
“I want the sky to land here, to cool it, and make it well again,” she said, according to Project 120’s website.
The other three parts of the project focus on restoring areas of the park to their original character, with some modern additions. These include preserving and restoring natural areas, creating a new Phoenix Pavilion and Music Center, and reestablishing the original Great Lawn—40 acres of open space that is currently occupied in part by a driving range and a chain-link fence.
Project 120 presented plans to the community at a meeting on January 13, the same night that the Chicago Park District held a meeting about the location of the Obama presidential library. To make up for a lost audience, Project 120 scheduled another community meeting to focus on the construction of the $10 million visitor center, but it was postponed on January 21.