After Richard A. Bloch, co-founder of H & R Block, Inc. survived what he had been told was “terminal” lung cancer, he established a foundation to help others fight and recover from cancer. The foundation has given gifts to create Cancer Survivor’s parks and gardens throughout the nation. When the foundation offered such a gift to the Chicago Park District in the 1990s, designers Miriam Gusevitch, Julie Gross, and Dan Purciarello developed a scheme specifically for its site on the northeast side of Grant Park.
The garden includes two forty-foot tall granite columns that had been salvaged when Chicago’s 1905 Federal Building was razed. The elegant columns flank an open metal pavilion and are on axis with the classical columns of the Field Museum.
The Foundation provided money for the construction of the Park including funding perpetual maintenance. There are 24 parks located in the U.S. and Canada. Each Park is individually designed to complement the surrounding area.