Gardens, green space make Park Monroe special
Overlooking Lake Michigan and Millennium Park, the green eco-amenity space on the 49th floor of The Park Monroe is the perfect place for residents to grill and socialize with friends, family and neighbors. | SUPPLIED PHOTO
Gardening or being present in outdoor space has been known to be extremely therapeutic and relaxing. This is more important than ever for people in today’s high-stress environment.
One team of downtown high-rise developers recognized the importance and significance of having green and outdoor space for residents. At the luxury high-rise condominium, The Park Monroe, there is a rooftop oasis on the 49th floor for residents to enjoy. Even though the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park is just steps away from The Park Monroe’s front door, the developers, Park Monroe LLC, knew that residents would still want to enjoy a private outdoor space.
The greatest challenge to creating outdoor space at the top of a condominium in downtown Chicago is clearly the wind. Even in the summer months, the wind comes in from the lake and whips through the other buildings like a Category 1 hurricane. It can be 80 degrees with not a cloud in the sky and the wind gusts can keep downtown condo owners from sitting outside, barbequing in the afternoon or even just enjoying a cup of coffee with the newspaper on their balcony.
To combat the bothersome wind, the developers had the brilliant idea to add floor-to-ceiling windows along the rooftop deck, keeping the space open aired by not adding a ceiling. In other words, residents have floor-to-ceiling windows to capture the panoramic views of Lake Michigan, Millennium Park and Grant Park, but the rooftop deck itself is open to the sky. The glass design at The Park Monroe allows residents to enjoy the outdoor space and grill and entertain in peace without the 30-mph wind tunnel.
After considering several outdoor designers, the developers at The Park Monroe chose Jamie Hoffman to fulfill the vision of an outdoor sanctuary. Jamie has a passion for horticulture. As she puts it, she “loves plants and the geekiness of the science behind them.” She sees a garden as “a living work of art. It’s temperamental, easily stressed, moody and much like a baby. It tells its caregiver when it needs to be fed, changed or moved.”
Jamie’s concept was to add warmth and a cozy feeling to the outdoor space that was initially gray concrete. Jamie used a variety of Coleus and tall grasses for the areas with low light. She complimented the bright, rainbow colors of the Coleus with Magenta and Feather Ferns. Colorful Petunias were added along with Ornamental Peppers for interest. She also incorporated compact trees and Dwarf Pines to add height and dimension to the landscaping.
Jamie wanted to fill the area of the sundeck that surrounds the hot tub, the lap-pool and the fitness center with texture, beauty and fragrance. To accomplish this, multi-colored annuals were planted. The colorful annuals include Gerbera Daisies, Vincas and Dahlias. These flowers incorporate a variety of color in the daytime. In the evening, the entire area is still bright with the luminescent colors of the flowers.
With so much thought put into the design, the outdoor garden clearly looks sensational. It is a beautiful place for residents at The Park Monroe to relax or entertain. The Zen-like garden opens to an entertainment suite with a full catering kitchen and amazing vistas of Lake Michigan.
In addition to the 49th floor rooftop, there is an outdoor sundeck built exclusively for penthouse owners. Jamie plans to landscape it this summer by creating a lush wall of drought-tolerant plants to absorb sound and to encase the area in a wall of tropical green space.
Jamie Hoffman not only designs commercial space with large budgets. She also provides service for individual condo owners that want to beautify their terrace or balcony. Jamie’s Website is www.chicagoearth.com.
Other luxury amenities at The Park Monroe include a surround-sound theater that accommodates large gatherings of residents and friends and an indoor lap pool and fitness center. There is also a 24-hour door staff and full-time property management.
Residences still available at The Park Monroe range from one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms, two-bedrooms-plus-den up to fabulous two-story penthouses. Many of the homes feature private outdoor balconies and all have gourmet kitchens with European styling, luxurious baths and premium hardwood floors. Designer touches are evident throughout, with elegant details, fine appointments and premium fixtures.
The Park Monroe recently passed a milestone. Control of the condo association was handed over from the developers to the residents. This change allows residents a stronger influence on the how the building is run and is further evidence of the success and stability of The Park Monroe. The prices start in the upper $200,000s for one-bedrooms and the upper $500,000s for two-bedrooms.
Three-bedrooms and two story penthouses are also available. The models and sales center at 65 East Monroe are open seven days a week, and those interested can call (312) 855-0550 or visit ParkMonroe.com for more information.