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Old September 19th, 2007, 05:16 PM   #401
The Urban Politician
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i_am_hydrogen View Post
Exactly. "Free and clear" is just a convenient pretext. A handful of people should not be allow to dictate what's best for a park that belongs to everyone in this city.
^ I hate to repeat SSP arguments here and vice versa, but I actually think that below-grade activity still does not count as "free and clear". It's really about a principle, and I think that's what is meant by "free and clear".

If CME Group said they wanted to locate their trading floors in a subterranean lair below Grant Park, would that change your mind? My point is, often we tend to view cultural institutions as being somehow different from commercial institutions, and thus deserving a free pass to our parks. Parks are meant to be respites from all aspects of a city--both cultural, civic, and commercial.

I say let a park be a park. Millennium Park and the Art Institute are duly noted as exceptions, but I would probably argue that the "forever free and clear" people are just as justified in their argument (regardless about their true motives) that these developments can start a worrisome trend as we are when we fear that Aldermanic opposition to an individual development will set a precedent for more opposition and more NIMBY-pandering.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 06:19 PM   #402
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Do you and Reilly really expect us to believe that the East Side residents are up-in-arms about the park being 'free and clear'?

Of course not. The ONLY issue is the thought of all those kids using THEIR park. It's not racism, but it is elitism.

Landscaping on top of a building is not a park? Huh? By your definition of 'free and clear' being the 'ground' would mean that all of the Grant Park Garages (the park along Michigan Ave from Randolph to Congress), Millenium Park, and all of the park north of Monroe to Randolph is already totally built and no longer 'open'. Please, the issue is NOT 'free and clear'.

I am not remotely considering the wishes of New East Side residents in forming my opinion. By the way, I am not a park expert, just an average citizen who feels that green space is better than a building at this location. By the way, I don't live near the proposed museum site. I live near Division Street so I am not certainly not writing this as a NIMBY.

Furthermore, many parties, e.g., Blair Kamin, Lynn Becker, and countless other local blog commenters, also do NOT live in the New East Side. These parties, like me, never thought of race when deciding to oppose this site. Do you think that those parties oppose the Museum location on racial grounds? Of course not. Do you think that they oppose the museum location on the basis of traffic or congestion? Of course not.

Your last point suggests that the landscaping on top of the proposed museum being the same as the lawn on top of the Grant Park garages. Your point is very wrong. I consider the ground level of Grant Park to be, roughly, the level of the lawn that is on top of the garages. Meanwhile, the roof of the proposed museum will be well above this level. It will a building rising from the lawn level with landscaping on top of the building.

To repeat, the landscaping on top of the Children's Museum is NOT like the lawn above the Grant Park garages. Those garages are completely underground relative to the ground of Grant Park.

Last edited by NearNorthGuy; September 19th, 2007 at 06:24 PM.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 06:23 PM   #403
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I think Daley is really stretching here, making the new Children's museum a racial issue, but I also think he will win this battle.

Last edited by cbotnyse; September 19th, 2007 at 06:51 PM.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 06:30 PM   #404
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TUP,

Do you agree that Millennium Park ought to be in Grant Park? If so, then what distinction do you draw between it and the Children's Museum to support your logic?

I also completely disagree with the notion that parks should per se be free from cultural attractions. Should we excise The Lincoln Park Zoo from Lincoln Park, the statue of the Tin Man from Oz Park? A park can function in many different ways. Some parks serve as natural refuges with less structure and more wilderness. Other parks are much more formalized. In my opinion, Grant Park falls into the latter category by functioning as a host to various exhibits such as Buckingham Fountain, Millennium Park, The Art Institute, Daley Bicentennial Plaza, and the recently added art installment at the southwest corner of the park.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 06:53 PM   #405
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^ The problem is, if you jam pack too many of these 'cultural attractions' into a park you go from 'park' to 'theme park'.

I'm not saying it's an easy call, and there are no absolutes here. But I think that a park is a place to just relax and get away from it all. If you build too many cultural attractions in them (often ones that charge money for entry), you are diminishing the park's purpose.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 06:57 PM   #406
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician View Post
My point is, often we tend to view cultural institutions as being somehow different from commercial institutions, and thus deserving a free pass to our parks. .
I believe cultural institutions are fundamentally different than commerical innstitutions. Commercial instituions are generally for a select group of people (traders, in your CME example) and museums, etc are for all residents of the city.

In this case, commercial instituions are not debateable but I think cultural ones are. I'm still not really sure how I feel about the "free and clear" concept being violated, but if the museum is mostly underground, that does make it easier to accept it being there.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 07:25 PM   #407
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But I think that a park is a place to just relax and get away from it all.
Yes, that is the case--in some parks. But I don't think too many people would say: "When I'm in Grant Park, I just feel away from it all." It's not that type of park.

Bottom line: In my opinion, relocating the Children's Museum creates a great opportunity to enliven an aging and anachronistic, not to mention structurally unsound, section of the park.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 08:14 PM   #408
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NearNorthGuy View Post
To repeat, the landscaping on top of the Children's Museum is NOT like the lawn above the Grant Park garages. Those garages are completely underground relative to the ground of Grant Park.
I suggest you take a closer look at the latest CCM sections...
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Old September 19th, 2007, 11:27 PM   #409
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If I had my druthers, I would completely get rid of the Daley Bi fieldhouse. Nobody uses the skating rink there, everybody goes to Millennium Park. Community functions for New East Side can and should be moved into one of the quasi-civic buildings planned in LSE, such as the school or part of the market building. (GPC can have its choice of downtown venues.) Then I would award the vacated park space to the museum.

I think, however, that with the fieldhouse AND the Children's Museum that far too much space will be taken up.

On a related note: the elevation of Upper Randolph introduces a conundrum to the planning process. To preserve a proper park/city boundary, the park must slope upwards to the level of Upper Randolph. But then what do you put underneath the hill you've just created? Whether you put a building in there or not, the park is no longer the open and clear flat plain it once was. From what I can see, the K&S design does very little to add to the profile of the hill that needs to be there anyway.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 03:01 AM   #410
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http://www.suntimes.com/news/sneed/5...NEED19.article

Pigskin punishment . . .

September 19, 2007
BY MICHAEL SNEED


Burke's law . . .

Dem da dem dem: Watch for powerful City Council finance committee chairman Ed Burke to stand on the side of truth, justice and the American Way regarding Ald. Brendan Reilly's opposition to Mayor Daley's proposal to move the Chicago Children's Museum into Grant Park.

• • Translation: Burke is backing Mayor Daley . . . and tells Sneed Reilly's pitch has about as much chance of passing the City Council as I have of being thin again.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 03:03 AM   #411
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Old September 20th, 2007, 03:34 AM   #412
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This is one of the hardest calls I can remember in some time. On the one hand I think the architecture and plan is as thoughtful and architecturally sensitive yet pleasing as one could hope for. In fact I think it would improve the aesthetics of the park without significantly intruding on what is already there.

That said I think the principle of remaining clear and free is an important one that has been challenged and affirmed for well over one hundred years and there is worthiness in not letting it slide and introducing more arbitrary and ad hok decisions about development within the park in the future.

The arguments from residents who worry about how many kids, parking, traffic, etc. should be summarily discarded on their face as the logistics are very well thought out and considering this is not a neighborhood park per se it shouldn't be treated as such. However no matter how many bogus argument they throw out their the one that matters is the principle of an open Grant Park and be if they actually believe in it or not the supporters of the new museum have to counter that principle as it is the only one that really has a leg to stand on.

So I as much as i love the look of the plan and think it would actually be an improvement and an asset I have to say I lean only slightly on the side of against. If there were no more reasonable places to put it then I would make such an allowance but there is likely other places near downtown or even near the park itself to put it where hopefully the innovative and thoughtful architecture and institution could be prominently displayed if people are a bit creative and compromising.

Either way at the end I will not be wringing my hands and will see the benefits of either choice whichever is made and think that there will be improvement as long as the high standard of design is kept wherever it goes.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 04:00 AM   #413
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyguy View Post
http://www.suntimes.com/news/sneed/5...NEED19.article

Pigskin punishment . . .

September 19, 2007
BY MICHAEL SNEED


Burke's law . . .

Dem da dem dem: Watch for powerful City Council finance committee chairman Ed Burke to stand on the side of truth, justice and the American Way regarding Ald. Brendan Reilly's opposition to Mayor Daley's proposal to move the Chicago Children's Museum into Grant Park.

• • Translation: Burke is backing Mayor Daley . . . and tells Sneed Reilly's pitch has about as much chance of passing the City Council as I have of being thin again.
^ Despite the fact that Reilly is accidently correct (in my mind) on this issue, I'm still hopeful that Daley wins this one simply because centralized prerogative should ALWAYS overpower bloated Aldermanic prerogative.

Da Mare is da boss--and that needs to resound loud and clear in the chamber.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 05:15 AM   #414
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician View Post
^ Despite the fact that Reilly is accidently correct (in my mind) on this issue, I'm still hopeful that Daley wins this one simply because centralized prerogative should ALWAYS overpower bloated Aldermanic prerogative.
Cheers, I have to agree with you. Museum in the park, museum not in the park, I don't honestly give a toss.

Daley in control, however, I do care about.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 05:31 AM   #415
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician View Post
^ Despite the fact that Reilly is accidently correct (in my mind) on this issue, I'm still hopeful that Daley wins this one simply because centralized prerogative should ALWAYS overpower bloated Aldermanic prerogative.

Da Mare is da boss--and that needs to resound loud and clear in the chamber.
And that begs another question: To what extent does aldermanic prerogative undermine the fundamental tenets of representative democracy? It's certainly an efficient way to govern, but it comes at a cost.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 09:17 AM   #416
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I would argue that it undermines representative democracy far less than an all-powerful mayor would. Chicagoans elect their aldermen to represent their local concerns, not the concerns of the city as a whole.

The problem we encounter more often is when the interests of the city as a whole are NOT being taken into account, in favor of local interests.

What really irks me is that the Chicago Childrens' Museum never even considered an alternate location. So many other parts of the city could benefit from this. The South Loop, the developing Cabrini area, the West Loop, Hyde Park, etc.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 09:38 PM   #417
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Let me see if I understand this...

Primary problem: Lack of space (as stated by the museum.)
Solution to problem: Move to a new location with SEVERE height and size restrictions. (location picked by museum.)

So obviously, this isn't about space. It's a land grab for the most coveted real estate in the city. What business/organization/charity WOULDN'T want a facility in Grant Park?!? This boils down to an extremely rich and well-connected heiress attempting to wiggle her favorite charity into an unatainable location. If this were any other organization, Daley would laugh at the idea. And so would everyone else. Feel free to name ANY other group that would get even 2 feet with a proposal like this. Anyone? Anyone?

(For the record, I like Daley, the Pritzkers philanthropy, and even their enormous house in Lincoln Park. I've been to the Museum with my nieces, and it was fun, but it's really just a big indoor park with learning overtones. It's not even worthy of a museum campus location, as it exists today, IMO.)
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Old September 21st, 2007, 03:23 AM   #418
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Did anyone else see Brendan Reilly on Chicago Tonight last night? I was very impressed with the way he handled the discussion and thought he was an excellent speaker. It is clear he has done the research on this and it is also clear his major concern is precedent. However, it is his job as an alderman to represent the people of his ward, not necessarily the people of the entire city and I think as a rookie, he may have that in the back of his head as motivation.

I hate to say it, but if anyone should/could bend the rules, it should be Daley. The Pritzker family has bailed out the city a number of times (i.e. Prudential Towers, Millenium Park, etc.) and that should have some influence. Daley and the Pritzkers have the best interest of the city at heart. If Blagojevich and Rezko wanted to move their favorite cultural attraction to Grant Park, we would laugh in their faces.
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Old September 21st, 2007, 04:10 AM   #419
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I'm certainly against more development in GP, but I make an exception in this case. However, if it can't be here, why not put it in LSE, so that the opposing forces of the CCM can have their little park there, but lose the prestige of the park they already have to themselves in the first place. How come the parents complaining about conjestion at GP don't realize they already have a beautiful, private space right in their backyard already? I understand precedent concerns, which I share as well BTW, but Daley Bi is a mess, so why not replace it with this beautiful, modern piece of architecture that serves a great social purpose? Hate to repeat what others have said, so sorry for preachin' to the choir.
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Old September 21st, 2007, 09:46 AM   #420
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AI's bridge ground breaking.....

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...i_tab01_layout
Quote:
Institute's addition donations, costs rise

By Charles Storch Tribune staff reporter
8:58 PM CDT, September 20, 2007

The projected cost of the Art Institute of Chicago's Modern Wing continues to mount but so, too, does the amount raised for the project.

The institute said Thursday private donors have given $300 million toward the $373 million now being sought to build the wing and a companion bridge and to endow the structures. Last October, it said it had raised $267 million of a then-goal of $350 million.

The updates came at a groundbreaking ceremony held in Millennium Park for a planned $30 million pedestrian bridge across Monroe Drive. The bridge would link the south end of the park and the third floor of the Modern Wing.......................
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