There was so much activity in the area around Wrigley Field at midday Saturday you might have almost mistaken it for a gameday. With temperatures around 50 degrees and bright sunshine, it was nicer than a lot of early-season days at the ballpark.
Large trucks ran in and out of the entrance at the right-field corner. I couldn’t quite figure out what they were doing, as none of the trucks stayed inside very long, not long enough to pick up a load of debris, if that’s what they were doing. This continued in a steady stream for quite some time.
Behind the scaffolding in photo 20 you can see where they have re-coated the steel on the girders. This is where the old offices, the only part of the park dating from 1914, still existed through the end of last year, and where the team had located a gift shop during most of the last two seasons. These steel beams will likely be painted green before Opening Day, and the decorative ironwork (which was removed from part of this area) should be restored.
“Winterland at the Park,” the ice rink and Christkindlmarket, which opened Friday, can already be considered a smash success, based on what I saw Saturday afternoon. There were hundreds of people on the plaza, having food from vendors there, checking out the merchandise, or skating. They had to stop the skating for a while because the sun was melting the ice; after it was cleared off and shadows went over the rink, it was opened up for skating again.
Here are details on what you’ll find there. It’s open through February 24, and the hours are also at that link. The link says it’s $5 for admission, but that’s for the rink; you can walk on the plaza and check out the merchandise or food without charge.
One thing that’s changed is that the small storefront in the building on the plaza that housed the Cubs’ World Series championship trophy is now “Santa’s Workshop,” though when I looked through the windows it didn’t appear there was anything going on in there. I believe the trophy is scheduled to appear at the Cubs Convention and then I’d guess it’ll be back on display after the season starts.
Photo 27 shows street resurfacing beginning on Clark Street between Addison and Waveland; some resurfacing will also be happening on Addison. This work will continue all week. Traffic in the area was pretty slow, so plan accordingly if you’re heading to or through that area.
We’ll have more photos here next week.