Donald J. DePorter, Chicago Gateway Green’s founder, passed away on August 4th, 1996. A memorial gathering was held 5 days later on August 9th where Mayor Daley dedicated the gateway at Ohio and Ontario streets as the “Donald J. DePorter Gateway”. The artwork that is in the lush garden is titled “Being Born,” by Virginio Ferrari. His amazing efforts to improve Chicago and make the city more beautiful did not go unnoticed. This site was originally known as the “North Orleans Triangle” and is located at the end of the Kennedy Expressway. This site is the city’s most heavily traveled gateway.
The statue was originally located on the corner of State and Washington streets. The Tooling and Manufacturing Association donated the piece. The two stainless steel elements fit exactly into one another which symbolizes the process of die making. The openness of the outer circles suggests the growth to come. The artwork was completed in 1983 and was dedicated by Mayor Harold Washington. When it was moved by mayor Daley more then a decade later, it became the fist public art installation by CGG on the region’s expressway.
Harry Caray’s Restaurant, owned by Donald DePorter’s son, Grant DePorter, funds the ongoing maintenance of the landscaping at the site. The lush garden and the beautiful statue really provide an amazing site to see as you drive by. They are a great representation of how one person’s idea of greening and beautifying a city can happen with a little bit of help.
CGG would like to thank everyone who has donated to our expressway partnership program and a special thanks to the DePorter family for their generosity.