Credit: Julia Thiel

I’d heard of Northerly Island plenty of times, but never actually visited it until a triathlon this summer shut down the Lakefront Trail and forced me onto the lower walkway around the Shedd Aquarium in search of an alternate route south. The island is, of course, not actually an island but a man-made peninsula—making it possible to end up there by accident as I did, surprised to discover where I was. I knew that Northerly Island was the former site of Meigs Field, but not that it was currently home to lush prairie and a trio of graceful statues that blend perfectly with the waving grasses—those were also a surprise. They’re called Daphne Garden and were sculpted by local artist Dessa Kirk in 2004 from discarded Cadillac parts. Originally installed in Grant Park, they were moved to Northerly Island in 2006.

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