Returning to the broad concept of urban planning, we have participated in the reawakening of spaces envisioned by the city’s earliest planners. Daniel Burnham was an early advocate for parks and open space, and he understood their importance in fostering a deep sense of community in a democracy.
The Midway Plaisance connects two of Chicago’s major south side green spaces, Washington and Jackson Parks, and was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Once an element adjacent to the Columbian Exposition, the Midway became an effective barrier that for decades divided the largely black neighborhood to the south
and the west from the University of Chicago to the north.
No longer a sharp example of how social divisions can by strengthened by physical ones, the garden at the terminus of the Midway is now an award winning circular green space. Representative of democracy and the ideals of a social anthropologist who dealt with the educational disparity between whites and blacks, it is a fitting gesture toward Dr. Davis’ uncompromising vision of racial equality.
As the sponsors of the garden, The Davis Group played a catalytic role in the planning, funding, and construction of the garden. We continue to fund the ongoing maintenance of the garden.