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Old September 14th, 2007, 09:01 PM   #361
wrabbit
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Lynn Becker weighs in on the proposed Children's Museum move to Grant Park in this week's Chicago Reader :

Forever Open, Clear, and Free
Why is the Grant Park Advisory Council so eager to let the Chicago Children’s Museum move in?
http://www.chicagoreader.com/feature...ecture/070914/

For my own small and insignificant part, I'm not very comfy with new pay-to-play facilities in GP, though I love just about everything K&S does; I'm doubly uncomfy with a pay-to-play for-profit brasserie on public land.

(Mr. Downtown, owning property on Michigan Avenue gave Ward the initial standing he needed to bring suit, but are you quite sure that this is still the case, post Ward, that any suit against future Grant Park development must be brought as a private covenant action? I don't know myself - I'm not terribly familiar with the case - thks)

Last edited by wrabbit; September 14th, 2007 at 09:21 PM.
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Old September 14th, 2007, 11:09 PM   #362
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As I read the decisions, Ward and other property owners west of Michigan were beneficiaries of a covenant that runs with the land. In later cases, that interest was described as an easement for views, light, and air across the park to the lake. Based on that property interest, which even the state legislature had no power to condemn, the court granted an injunction against any buildings in the park. Various decisions between the 1920s and 1950s examined buildings beyond the bulkhead line (Chicago Yacht Club OKed) and underground buildings (original Grant Park garage OKed, small ventilation structures held to be de minimis.)

Presumably, any property owner could simply sue the Children's Museum and Park District, pointing to the injunction and underlying easement. However, if the building is virtually all underground, as it is now, that's not a slam-dunk.
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Old September 15th, 2007, 02:30 AM   #363
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrabbit View Post
I'm doubly uncomfy with a pay-to-play for-profit brasserie on public land.
The Ward decisions only pertain to Grant Park between Randolph and Park Row. Park Row no longer exists, but it was 1.5 blocks north of Roosevelt. The southernmost part of the park is not protected, because originally, the land was not PART of Grant Park (it held the Illinois Central Terminal).

I'm fine with a high-end restaurant taking advantage of the park setting, so long as concessions on a more pedestrian scale are added elsewhere, with maps, brochures, water, chips, etc. I've seen pictures of the beautiful concession stands that used to be in Lincoln and Jackson Park.
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Old September 15th, 2007, 04:52 PM   #364
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I do not understand how the Children's Museum impedes views, light, and air across the park to the lake, given that the renderings show that the vast majority of the structure is sub-terrain. The portions of the structure that is above ground sits bellow the Randolph Street deck and presumable bellow the height of the Gerry Music Pavilion.

Mr. DT - In the documents that you read did you come across a clause that set the highest point of the Art Institute as the height limitation for any other building in the Lakefront Protective zone?
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Old September 15th, 2007, 09:16 PM   #365
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagotom View Post
did you come across a clause that set the highest point of the Art Institute as the height limitation for any other building
No, I'm a little puzzled about what Lois Wille's letter refers to in that regard. Forever Open, Clear and Free is, unfortunately, not indexed, but I just skimmed through the relevant pages and didn't see anything. I think she's misremembering a 1931 state appellate court decision that the original permission for the Art Institute included the right to build future extensions, so long as they didn't extend north of Monroe, south of Jackson, west of the current frontage, east of West (Columbus) drive; or rise any higher than the 1892 building ("excepting ornament, pinnacles or flagpoles"). Stevens Hotel Co. v. Art Institute of Chicago, 260 Ill. App. 555 (1931).
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Old September 16th, 2007, 05:19 AM   #366
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I'm starting to realize how wise Ward was when he became the self-appointed steward of Grant Park and kept the Field Museum out. The Art Institute's East Wing is absolutely terrible architecturally, and of course, that's where they placed the ultra-conspicuous loading dock.

Now with the Modern Wing, the complex promises to be a monstrous blemish on Grant Park that charges admission. Not that Piano's Modern Wing is all that bad, but it just adds more glass and concrete to what should be green space.

Makes me wish that the Art Institute back in the 1960s had decided to build a second facility elsewhere in the city to house their expanding art collection, and just kept the original collection on Michigan Avenue in the 1892 building.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 05:36 AM   #367
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monstrous blemish?

So, you equate the Renzo Piano designed Modern Wing to be a monstrous blemish for Grant Park? Pray tell, what would you deign worthy of being added onto the Art Institute then?

FYI, the "ugly" East Wing that you refer to (designed by SOM) is primarily composed of facilities for the "School of the Art Institute" and not museum galleries.

The people of Chicago should be proud and grateful to have both a world renowned art museum and world renowned art school in their collective front yard.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 06:53 AM   #368
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Despite what anyone thinks of the piano addition, it's the mere principle of continuing to build in grant park that bothers me. The children's museum is ok because it replaces something lackluster that is already there. Continuing to add buildings just sets a horrible precedent for the future of our park. Our city always promotes being "green", which SHOULD coincide with preserving green space. This relates back to the whole idea of urbanization. It's a misconception that urbanization is anti-green, but it's quite the opposite. Concentrating development rather than spreading it and taking away wilderness and farmland is the principle of this, because grant park was formed-with the help of Mr. Ward- to be a natural setting in an urban environment. Granted, I'll say that there are too many streets running through it that could be turned to more green space or all-pedestrian promenades, but building more structures that don't cover the tracks is a crime. I hate to act so self-entitled to rant about this, but it's something I feel strongly about and I won't say how I feel about piano's design because I feel it's irrelevant.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 07:59 AM   #369
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As far as I'm concerned, the Piano addition doesn't negatively impact that corner of Grant Park. The Art Institute already was using the property, it wasn't exactly green space.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 08:07 AM   #370
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritchie Rich View Post
So, you equate the Renzo Piano designed Modern Wing to be a monstrous blemish for Grant Park? Pray tell, what would you deign worthy of being added onto the Art Institute then?
I love the Art Institute as an institution, don't get me wrong, and I like the Renzo Piano addition.

What I don't like is the original decision that gave the entire superblock between Monroe, Jackson, Michigan, and Columbus over to the exclusive use of AI, and the subsequent expansions that totally filled that space. The majority of the expansion east of the tracks is the totally insensitive SOM addition, which placed sheer glass walls with harsh reflections next to sheer concrete walls next to gigantic loading docks and service entrances on the Columbus side.

I don't think that the Art Institute's success is in any way connected to its location within Grant Park, and I think SAIC could easily have been placed in a Loop building or elsewhere downtown without compromising its quality.

Last edited by ardecila; September 16th, 2007 at 08:13 AM.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 06:38 PM   #371
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/entert...,7601341.story

Children's Museum has yet to make case for planned move


Vehicles park on the unused skating rink at the Richard J. Daley Bicentennial Plaza, just east of Millennium Park in Grant Park. Because the waterproofing membrane that protects the parking garage beneath Daley Bicentennial is failing, Chicago Park District officials say, much or all of the park's surface will have to be ripped up. (Tribune photo by Chris Walker / November 7, 2007)

By Blair Kamin | Tribune architecture critic
September 12, 2007

Something essential is missing from the ongoing debate over the Chicago Children's Museum's improved but still-troubling plan to move from Navy Pier to Grant Park: a hard look at the desultory section of the park the museum covets and an expansive vision for remaking this subpar space.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 08:38 PM   #372
Ritchie Rich
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[QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
I love the Art Institute as an institution, don't get me wrong, and I like the Renzo Piano addition.

What I don't like is the original decision that gave the entire superblock between Monroe, Jackson, Michigan, and Columbus over to the exclusive use of AI, and the subsequent expansions that totally filled that space. The majority of the expansion east of the tracks is the totally insensitive SOM addition, which placed sheer glass walls with harsh reflections next to sheer concrete walls next to gigantic loading docks and service entrances on the Columbus side.
Ardecila,
The crux of your argument is something that was established decades ago and is not going to change. The Art Institute will occupy, and, in turn, build upon the land bounded by Michigan, Jackson, Columbus, and Monroe. You're beating a dead horse. Why?

I agree that the SOM addition sucks, but it exists, and over time it will be judged as it should be, as one chapter in the institution's storied history.

Last edited by Ritchie Rich; September 16th, 2007 at 08:38 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old September 16th, 2007, 09:31 PM   #373
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The beautiful thing about open forums is that I CAN wax eloquent about something that's forgone.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 11:05 PM   #374
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There was nothing eloquent in your wax.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 11:26 PM   #375
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Wow - tough crowd.......
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Old September 17th, 2007, 03:09 AM   #376
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http://www.pioneerlocal.com/skylinen...707-s1.article

Finances stymie plans for Center for Jewish Life

September 7, 2007
By FELICIA DECHTER


The proposed Center for Jewish Life project appears to be dead.
...
But all that has changed. Last week, Mordechai Kustiner, spokesman for the group, said financial limitations have forced the Lubavitch Chabad, "to explore several options," including the possibility of multi-use development in conjunction with another interest, or outright sale of the property.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 07:10 AM   #377
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^ Definetely for the better since the new design was watered down from the original renderings. whats with all these non profits going belly up with their new buildings?...first MBC and now them, you think they would actually have enough sense to have secured financing BEFORE they start! lol.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 01:41 AM   #378
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Looks like a done deal

http://www.suntimes.com/news/politic...091707.article

Race could be driving Children's Museum fight: Daley

September 17, 2007
BY FRAN SPIELMAN


Opposition to a new Children's Museum in Grant Park could be racially motivated, Mayor Daley said today, demanding that the decision be made by all 50 aldermen — not just one.
...
The mayor's demand that all 50 aldermen decide the volatile issue is a direct slap at newly elected downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd).

It's also a clean break from City Council tradition, which calls for the Council to follow the lead of the local alderman.

That won't happen this time if Daley has his way.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 03:30 AM   #379
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While I tend to think that the council should defer to aldermen for decisions that have an impact largely confined to their own ward, I think Mayor Daley is correct that decisions which impact the city's front yard should extend past the alderman's lobby.

I'm a resident of the 42nd ward, but I don't think that should give me an automagical veto on projects that would impact the rest of the city.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 04:17 PM   #380
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If you guys have read today's (Sept 18th) news, you'll see that this matter is beginning to sizzle.

Daley & O'Neill vs. Reilly and his NIMBY posse!

Get out your popcorn and cheez whiz, people, cuz this one's gonna be a spectacle
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