A storm with 50 mph winds on Saturday, Nov. 5, blew a large window panel off Solstice on the Park, 1616 E. 56th St., the Jeanne Gang-designed Mac Properties apartment building. Mac is now removing all panels similar to the one that blew off and estimates that work will last into the second half of December.
In the meantime, 56th Street is closed between Cornell and Stony Island avenues, tenants are being asked not to use their balconies facing Jackson Park and Bret Harte Elementary, 1556 E. 56th St., has closed its playground and driveway where students are commonly dropped off and picked up. The city put the barricades up after the panel fell.
“Once the remediation is complete, the street, playground and drive aisle closures will be lifted and balcony access restored,” Mac wrote in a Nov. 15 email. “The scaffolding surrounding the base of the Solstice on the Park building will remain while workers are overhead re-installing panels and completing their work.”
Bret Harte Principal Charles Bright said his students are currently having recess in nearby Jackson Park playgrounds. The University of Chicago is allowing pickups and drop-offs in a parking lot it owns across 56th from the school.
"We've communicated to our parents to ask them to remain calm and understand there might be some delays in pickup," Bright said, adding that Bret Harte has asked Chicago Public Schools for an extra crossing guard during the repairs.
Mac has also bought Bret Harte items for use during indoor recesses.
Solstice on the Park opened in the spring of 2018.