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Old June 28th, 2006, 06:26 AM   #141
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im not into it either
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Old June 28th, 2006, 06:18 PM   #142
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...rnorthwest-hed

Persian treasure trove on the line at U. of C.
Suit over terrorism could force their sale

By Ron Grossman

Tribune staff reporter
Published June 28, 2006

A federal judge has rejected a key defense by the University of Chicago in a lawsuit over rights to ancient Persian artifacts, a decision bound to ripple through the American museum community.

The next step, according to the Rhode Island lawyer who sued the university and several renowned museums: Seize an invaluable collection at U. of C.'s Oriental Institute--thousands of clay fragments with cuneiform writing that came from Iran. Then auction off the pieces to compensate victims of Middle Eastern violence on the grounds that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism.

The judge's decision comes as American museums are facing tough questions about how they acquired certain collections.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art recently agreed to return invaluable antiquities that Italian authorities said had been looted from that country. The J. Paul Getty Museum is negotiating a similar claim with Italy.

The judge's rebuke of U. of C. left several other lines of defense still to be heard. The case, which also involves the Field Museum, comes back to court for another hearing next month.

U. of C. had argued that it needed to protect Iran's rights to the property, even though Iran declined to come to court. The university said the Iranians were gun-shy because of bad experiences with the American legal system, a claim rejected by U.S. District Judge Blanche M. Manning in Chicago.

In a decision published Friday, Manning ruled the university's "brazen accusation that the courts of the United States are hostile to Iran and that, as a result, Iran should be excused from bothering to assert its rights, is wholly unsupported."

From the University of Chicago's perspective, this might be a case of injury about to be added to insult. David J. Strachman, attorney for the plaintiffs, said he will move to translate the judge's ruling into cash for his clients.

"Shortly, we are going to be asking for a judicial sale for the purpose of raising funds to satisfy the judgment," said Strachman.

In her ruling, Manning also took a poke at the U. S. government, which backed the university's side of the dispute. "The government relegates the [key] argument to a footnote," she wrote.

Charles Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice, said, "We are reviewing the court's ruling."

In several recent cases involving U.S. citizens and foreign nations, the Department of Justice intervened and claimed the national interest is better served if such disputes are resolved through diplomatic negotiations rather than legal suit, an argument revived in the University of Chicago case.

"The government came into court crying the sky will fall if Iran has to satisfy this judgment," Strachman said. He said his clients were pleased by the judge's decision, which rejected that line of reasoning.

"They had been disheartened that the government defended Iran," Strachman said. "It was very upsetting to them, because they were doing what the Congress said they should be doing to help fight terrorism."

The Chicago case--formally titled Jenny Rubin, et al vs. the Islamic Republic of Iran, et al--stems from a deadly bombing in Israel nearly nine years ago.

On Sept. 4, 1997, suicide bombers set off explosive devices in Ben Yehuda mall, a popular tourist destination in Jerusalem. Hamas claimed responsibility for the bloody attack, which killed five bystanders and left 192 people wounded.

Several of the survivors were American visitors who filed a federal lawsuit against Iran and Iranian officials. They claimed that Hamas was financed by Iran, making the country legally responsible for their suffering. Judge Ricardo M. Urbina agreed and noted that Iran has a ministry for terrorism and budgets "between $50 million and $100 million a year sponsoring various organizations such as Hamas."

When Iran didn't show up in court, the judge ruled for the plaintiffs by default, awarding them damages of $423.5 million. Though a victory for Strachman and his clients, that left him the task of collecting from Iran's assets in the U.S., among them the collection of Persian artifacts housed at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute.

In response, the university invoked an ancient legal principle, known as sovereign immunity, which holds that governments can't be sued just like ordinary citizens. The university's lawyers argued that though Iran hadn't asserted that defense, it was doing it on Iran's behalf.

When a magistrate judge rejected that defense, the university appealed to Manning. But she agreed with the original finding.

Larry Arbieter, a University of Chicago spokesman, said that because the matter is still in court, the university declined to comment on the judge's ruling.

Joe Brennan, vice president and general counsel for the Field Museum, said that institution, though not directly affected by Friday's decision, disagreed with it. He looked upon the aftermath of the judge's ruling as an instance of living to fight another day.

"It was only one of several lines of defenses we've offered," he said. "There is another hearing coming up in July, and we're confident of winning."

---------

I'm no lawyer, but selling historic artifacts that are on loan to the museum and institute by a foreign country doesn't make much sense. Let's hope they eventually win.
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Old July 5th, 2006, 06:09 PM   #143
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...i-business-hed

Culinary museum aims to boost city's reputation

By Jennifer Carnig

Special to the Tribune
Published July 5, 2006

Chicago's best-known contributions to the culinary world may be stuffed pizza and tomatoes on hot dogs, but the Chicago Chefs of Cuisine is looking to change all that.

The local chapter of the American Culinary Federation has announced plans to build a culinary museum and Chicago chefs' hall of fame, and has named Charlie Trotter as its inaugural inductee.

The group of 300 chefs, restaurateurs and corporate partners will vote every summer to add another culinary great to the hall of fame.

While the physical museum is little more than an aspiration now, the Chefs of Cuisine has visions of interactive kitchens and a Disney World-style hall of fame complete with animatronic chefs.

"We want this to be a destination museum," said John Castro, chairman of the advisory board overseeing the project. "It will be a place to honor all of the great things that our chefs of the present and of the past have accomplished, and to motivate our chefs of the future."

Part of what gives Chicago its great character is its food, Castro said. A place where international flavors mingle to create bold new tastes, Chicago and its cuisine are "totally unique."

With the Food Network rocketing chefs to celebrity status, Castro said that he anticipates that the Chicago museum will draw foodies from around the globe to see "why we're one of the best restaurant towns in the world."

To make that happen, Castro said the Chefs of Cuisine may need as much as $10 million. In the three months the organization has been fundraising, it has secured $150,000 in donations.

Perhaps most important, the hall of fame has been given the blessing of Mayor Richard M. Daley. In a letter to guests attending the Chefs of Cuisine's first hall of fame induction, a dinner honoring Trotter, Daley recognized the group for "promoting and celebrating Chicago's culinary history."
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Old July 6th, 2006, 02:56 AM   #144
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^ Great idea. I wonder where it would be located. I'm leaning towards the west or south loops--too many attractions are weighed towards the loop or River North. Besides, the west loop is known for so many great restaurants
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Old July 9th, 2006, 11:04 PM   #145
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Since I have other U of C stuff on the front page, why not this?

http://midwest.construction.com/news/design/default.asp

Viñoly Initiates Concept for U. of C. Hospitals Pavilion

The University of Chicago Hospitals has engaged New York-based Rafael Viñoly Architects and Grand Island, N.Y.-based Cannon Design to begin the process of conceptual design for a new hospital pavilion that will be devoted to complex specialty care, with a focus on cancer and advanced surgical programs.

Viñoly recently completed the university's Graduate School of Business building in Hyde Park. Cannon Design brings national expertise in healthcare architecture.

This project, as currently conceived, could add approximately 500,000 sq. ft. of space and increase the hospitals' total clinical capacity by more than one-third.

The site under consideration is on the south side of 57th Street, between Cottage Grove and Drexel Avenues, adjacent to current UCH facilities.

The new building's design will place a premium on flexibility, the capacity to adjust to the rapid and unforeseen changes at the forefront of medicine in the 21st Century.

The architects are developing a building approach based on a grid system that is built from a standard structural cube. This cube element could be configured over time for a very wide range of purposes, from inpatient beds to radiology suites to surgical operating rooms, without changing the basic frame of the building.

"Our thinking thus far has focused on how we could build a new hospital pavilion that could accommodate the rapid-fire, hard-to-predict changes that have swept through medical science and technology in the last three decades and that continue to gain speed," said UCH president and CEO Michael Riordan.

If the pavilion concept is approved by the UCH and University Boards of Trustees, UCH would proceed with detailed design work, followed by the governmental review and approval process. The Trustees would make a final decision on whether to proceed with construction in 2007. If approved, the facility could open in 2011.
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Old July 11th, 2006, 01:46 AM   #146
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No step taken to replace crosswalk
Jon Hilkevitch
Published July 10, 2006


New bridges exclusively for pedestrians and bicyclists are gaining a welcome foothold in Chicago, improving access and safety and adding beauty to the landscape from Millennium Park to the south lakefront.

The next installment to the series of spans recently built in the Grant Park area will be the new pedestrian bridge at Monroe Street, connecting Millennium Park to the new modern wing of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Plans for the gently sloping steel-and-glass Art Institute bridge, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, will be presented at a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Daley Bicentennial Plaza, 337 E. Randolph St.

But there is no progress to report on Queen's Landing, where Chicago officials removed the traffic signal and pedestrian crosswalk to Buckingham Fountain a year ago--without any public notice. The crosswalk near Monroe Harbor was installed in 1988 after a 13-year-old girl was struck and killed by a car.

Civic leaders who for the last year have unsuccessfully prodded the city to bring back the crosswalk are now beginning to focus efforts on forming a public-private partnership.

Their goal on this first anniversary of the crosswalk's closing is to raise some of the estimated $15 million needed to build a bridge or an underpass at Queen's Landing, named in honor of Queen Elizabeth II's 1959 visit to Chicago.

The civic leaders point to the city's ongoing strategy to sell corporate naming rights to the Chicago Skyway; to the approximately $15 million in private funding donated by Art Institute sponsors for the Monroe Street bridge; and to the Millennium Park bridge paid for in part by British Petroleum.

"This is an easy project to attract private dollars because with millions of people in cars on Lake Shore Drive, on foot and on bikes, it would be the most visible corporate sponsorship in the park area," said Bob O'Neill, president of the Grant Park Advisory Council.

"With the obvious connection to Queen Elizabeth, I'm going to start by calling [British entrepreneur] Richard Branson at the Virgin Group and British Airways," O'Neill said.

Chicago traffic authorities initially said it was necessary to remove the Queen's Landing crosswalk to more efficiently move the 139,000 vehicles a day that travel on Lake Shore Drive through the busy Grant Park area. One pedestrian pressing the "walk" button there, changing a green light to red for 34 seconds, inconvenienced a hundred or more vehicles, they said.

Officials also promised to come up with a solution--a bridge or a tunnel--for pedestrians seeking access from Buckingham Fountain across the eight lanes of Lake Shore Drive to the water's edge, to Navy Pier and the Museum Campus.

Yet a Chicago Department of Transportation feasibility study, started before the crosswalk, is still in the conceptual phase.

"Our engineers are taking a look at the available space and concerns related to construction, sight lines and access points with respect to building either a pedestrian underpass or a bridge," said CDOT spokesman Brian Steele. "But we have not drilled down to the details yet."

Steele said there is "no real timeline" for moving the project forward, although the city intends to apply for federal funds later this year to eventually build something.

"Any large-scale project like this is always going to be a lengthy process," Steele said.

But other projects are under way.

The city has secured about $6 million in federal funding to add a pedestrian bridge over South Lake Shore Drive at 41st Street and to design replacement bridges at 35th and 43rd Streets on the Drive, Steele said. The bridges, whose winning designs were selected from a CDOT-sponsored international competition, will be built over the next several years, he said.

In addition, plans are set to build a pedestrian and bicycle underpass beneath Solidarity Drive near the Adler Planetarium on the Museum Campus. All $11 million needed for the project has been acquired, Steele said.

The work follows the 2003 completion of the 11th Street Columbus Drive pedestrian-bike bridge and underpass and the 18th Street pedestrian-bike bridge.

But the slow pace of progress at Queen's Landing is leaving some Chicago business and civic leaders dissatisfied. "Of all the bridges being discussed, this is the most important one, linking Grant Park and the lakefront," said Louis D'Angelo, chairman of the Chicago Loop Alliance. "It needs to be put at a higher priority."

In light of the already long list of corporate sponsorships in Millennium and Grant Parks, such creative financing at Queen's Landing could place the project on a fast track, said D'Angelo, a developer who is president of Metropolitan Properties of Chicago.

Five million people visit Buckingham Fountain each year, according to the Chicago Park District, which owns the land on both sides of Lake Shore Drive. Millennium Park, home to the BP Bridge that snakes across Columbus Drive, is visited by about 3 million people, according to Millennium Park officials.

The Park District plans to work with other city agencies to develop a workable solution at Queen's Landing that is aesthetically compatible with the historic nature of the park and improves safety for park users, said Park District spokeswoman Jessica Maxey-Faulkner.

A year after the crosswalk closed, people still occasionally risk their lives bolting across Lake Shore Drive, according to the Chicago Traffic Management Authority.

Snow fencing hastily erected last year to discourage pedestrians, bicyclists and joggers from darting across the roadway has been replaced by concrete bollards linked by decorative chains. But remnants of the striped pedestrian crosswalk are still visible in the pavement.

"I think the bollards are ugly and perfectly stupid," said Kathy Schubert, a member of Forever Free and Clear, one of the groups pushing for a pedestrian crossing that is separated from the traffic. "It's easier to climb over the bollards than to scale the snow fence. The situation is an accident waiting to happen."

Pedestrian crossings on Lake Shore Drive near Buckingham Fountain still exist at Monroe, Jackson and Balbo Drives and at 11th Street. But the distances to those intersections are longer than the average city block and, once there, pedestrians must contend with turning vehicles cutting through the crosswalks.

City officials are still defending their decision to close the crosswalk.Daily traffic counts have increased substantially, up 13 percent north of 18th Street, said Kevin Smith, spokesman for the Traffic Management Authority. That's due in part to Lake Shore Drive being an alternate to the Dan Ryan Expressway, which is under construction, he said.

"Generally, pedestrians have made the adjustment [to the closed crosswalk pretty well and it seems traffic is running better through the spot," Smith said. "We think the pedestrians have found there are alternate locations to cross safely."

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Old July 11th, 2006, 04:08 AM   #147
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maybe its time to call Calatrava and have him give the city a group rate on abouve a half dozen ped bridges across LSD for the city with a few additional for the river. One large bundle purchase for a discounted commission. You think Calatrava does discounts for bulk purchases? Likely not, oh well.
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Old July 14th, 2006, 08:35 PM   #148
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/entert...ck=1&cset=true

Trusses, glass for museum hall
Art Institute passageway may get makeover as part of expansion, renovation

By Blair Kamin

Tribune architecture critic
Published July 14, 2006

As it approaches a crucial city vote next week, the Art Institute of Chicago is putting a new focus on a welcome element of Renzo Piano's original proposal for expanding and renovating the museum. On the north side of the passageway that runs over the Illinois Central railroad tracks, the Italian architect would strip off limestone walls and replace them with glass, exposing the passageway's trusses and opening views to Millennium Park as well as the trains running below.

Called Gunsaulus Hall and built in 1916, the two-story, east-west passageway houses arms and armor exhibits on its lower level. But it's dimly lighted and contributes to the sense that museum-goers are traveling through a giant maze. It's also something of an eyesore, a hulk of masonry that would be at odds with Piano's elegant steel, glass and limestone new modern wing, now under construction and scheduled to open in 2009.

With the Art Institute planning a Piano-designed pedestrian bridge that will begin near the southwest corner of Millennium Park's Great Lawn and bring parkgoers over Monroe Drive to the roof of the three-story wing, Gunsaulus Hall's shortcomings will become even more evident.

So it's good news that the 620-foot-long bridge, which has received appropriate refinements since it was unveiled last year, is just one aspect of the plans that Art Institute leaders will bring to the Chicago Plan Commission next Thursday. They also are expected to discuss the proposed changes to Gunsaulus Hall, which were spurred by the introduction of the bridge into the museum's plans.

The Art Institute's trustees have approved the changes in concept and are seeking cost estimates for the work. It would come on top of the estimated $350 million it will take to build and endow the museum's expansion, including the bridge.

Matched original building

Gunsaulus Hall was designed by Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge, the Boston firm that shaped the museum's refined, restrained temple of art along Michigan Avenue. The hall is essentially a bridge, covered in limestone meant to match the original museum. The wisdom of Piano's plan is that it would dispense with beaux-arts cosmetics, exposing much of the bridge for what it really is.

According to museum spokeswoman Erin Hogan, most of the north-facing limestone walls of Gunsaulus Hall would be removed. On the first floor, glass would be placed behind the bridge's steel trusses. A new interior wall of undetermined materials would be built above. The hall would continue to be a gallery, though it's unclear what it would house.

The plan, part of Piano's original 2001 Art Institute proposal and later put on the back burner, offers several advantages, though at this point it looks painfully sketchy and superficially resembles those bridgelike Illinois Tollway oases where highway drivers stop for fast food.

But its trusses are gutsier than those on the Tollway oases and the design, if properly detailed, would aptly echo both the modern wing's transparency and its clear expression of structure.

And by opening Gunsaulus Hall to daylight and views, Piano would considerably improve the east-west route that extends through the museum from the main Michigan Avenue entrance to Columbus Drive. That's in keeping with the broader import of his plan, which was never simply about adding a new building to the museum, but instead reconceived its interior as a small city.

The changes to the pedestrian bridge, Piano's straight-lined answer to the snaking curves of Frank Gehry's BP Bridge on Millennium Park's east end, also make good sense.

Design changes

Piano's pedestrian bridge has been widened to 15 feet from the too-narrow 8 to 9 feet of Piano's original plan. Its side walls have been changed to stainless steel mesh from glass to allow the wind to slip through them. Its underside is now rounded, like the hull of a ship, which seems right for a lakefront span. And it is to have a heating system beneath its aluminum planks, which should allow it to remain open all winter, unlike Gehry's bridge, which has been forced to close after heavy snows. The planks will be textured, the museum says, to improve pedestrians' grip and repel skateboarders.

As winning as all this sounds, there remain unanswered questions about a key aspect of the museum's plans: How it intends to get pedestrians who opt not to use the bridge across Monroe. There promise to be lots of them, including museum-goers who will park in Millennium Park's underground garage and take elevators to street level. Forcing them to double back to the bridge's entrance, a whole block north, makes no sense, especially in the winter months.

In the past, Piano has pushed for a midblock stoplight and crosswalk, but city transportation officials have been cool to the idea, saying it would slow traffic. For his part, the architect hasn't been keen on using an existing tunnel beneath Monroe to make the link between the garage and the modern wing. "There are currently no developments on alternate ways across or under Monroe," Hogan says.

The impasse offers the prospect of museum-goers dodging cars -- not a very artful way to enter the Art Institute.
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Old July 14th, 2006, 08:38 PM   #149
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FINALLY

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060714/cgf024.html?.v=55

The Chicago Salvation Army Selects West Pullman Community for Construction of a New Kroc Center
Friday July 14, 10:39 am ET

Following months of speculation that began last November when the former Bronzeville site chosen for the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center (RJKCCC) became unavailable, Lt. Colonel David E. Grindle, divisional commander of The Salvation Army in Chicago announced the Army's choice for a new location.

"Great progress has been made in identifying a location for the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center," says Lt. Colonel Grindle. "Although some details regarding the location need to be finalized," he adds, "We are very pleased and excited that the Gano Park site at 1100 W. 119th Street in the West Pullman Community is our chosen location."

The site is bordered by 119th Street and Loomis Street, 119th Street and Morgan and Gano Park located on 117th Street and Carpenter. The West Pullman location was one of 27 potential sites identified by the RJKCCC and the City of Chicago's Department of Planning that fit the location requirements and were in areas of need as set forth in The Salvation Army requirements. However, many of the sites were too small and only six of the 27 met the size criteria.

The study and research that went into the selection process concluded that the Gano Park site more than met the requirements for the RJKCCC project.

In 2003, philanthropist Joan Kroc passed away leaving behind a significant financial gift to The Salvation Army in order to develop community centers throughout the nation. Mrs. Kroc, the widow of McDonalds founder Ray Kroc, had an extraordinary commitment to the community and a clear vision of the legacy that she wished to leave behind. Her wish was to create a center, supported in part by the community, where children and families would be exposed to people, activities and arts that would otherwise be beyond their reach.

West Pullman, a densely populated community with middle to lower income- level residents, speaks to the vision of Joan Kroc. There are very few supervised recreational centers with instructional activities within a 3-mile radius of the proposed Kroc facility.

The Salvation Army's selection of the West Pullman site reflects its socio-economic diversity and recognizes the limited number of community resources available to residents in the South region. The three miles surrounding the proposed site house a population of 255,225 which includes 72.9% African American, 18.3 % White, 7.3% Hispanic, and 1.5% Asian, and a third of that population (74,000) are under 18 years of age.

Mrs. Kroc's vision for these community centers was that they would be beacons of hope and peace. Because of the economic and racial diversity represented in a 3-mile radius of the West Pullman site, it is The Salvation Army's desire to offer a scope of services and programs that will appeal to a broad spectrum of participants in the South Chicago Region.

The RJKCCC is the type of project that will bring a positive future to the residents of the South Region of the Chicago Metropolitan area Pullman. The anticipated programs of the RJKCCC will provide educational support and encouragement and will include the Family Life and Educational Center, Sports Training and Recreational Center, and, the Academy for the Arts Center/Performing Arts Theater.

During the next several weeks, The Salvation Army will be conducting community assessments and marketing studies with resident stakeholders in West Pullman and surrounding communities to determine what types of programs can best serve the needs of the community.

Lt. Colonel Grindle anticipates making a formal press announcement of the site selection once approval is received from The Salvation Army's territorial headquarters. In addition, the formal announcement will contain architectural renderings and conceptual drawings of the program areas that will be offered to the public.
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Old August 5th, 2006, 05:05 AM   #150
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Lots of stuff

Near West Gazette

Millennium Park, Art Institute to get access bridge
By Marie Balice Ward


Architect Renzo Piano’s design for the Art Institute’s new Modern Wing includes a $25 million bridge connecting the museum with Millennium Park. Construction for the expansion already is underway, and workers will begin building the bridge in summer 2007.

Piano, an internationally celebrated Italian architect and 1998 recipient of the Pritzker Architectural Prize, also designed other elements of Millennium Park. The bridge will span from the middle of Millennium Park on the Michigan Avenue side of the Great Lawn to the third level (rooftop) of the museum’s new wing, crossing Monroe Street. Both the bridge and expansion should be finished in summer 2009.

At a meeting of the Grant Park Advisory Council, Art Institute and Millennium Park representatives discussed the bridge, which is fully funded by the Art Institute thanks to a $14 million donation by John D. and Alexandra C. Nichols.

Noting Piano’s “elegant” design, Art Institute President James Cuno said the bridge “will link the museum to Millennium Park, Chicago’s newest icon and the place where Chicago neighborhoods meet.”

Bob O’Neill, president of the Grant Park Advisory Council and Conservancy, stated, “This bridge will repeat the standards set by Millennium Park and throughout Grant Park. The new bridge will afford pedestrians an incredible vantage point for breathtaking views of the city. This alone will make [the bridge] an incredible destination.” Although the bridge will traverse Grant Park’s operations yard, officials expect pedestrians crossing it most likely will focus primarily on the vegetation that will be planted within the park.

“The 620 foot long, 15 foot wide bridge will gently slope from the heart of Millennium Park to about 23 feet as it begins crossing Monroe Street,” explained Meredith Mack, vice president of finance and operations for the Art Institute. “Its final height will be 30 feet, when it will reach the sculpture terrace atop the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute.” The rooftop will provide a covered dining area, and glass enclosed escalators and elevators will operate between roof and street level.

Piano’s design specifies a textured steel walking surface for the bridge as well as artistic siding and handrails. Beneath the planked surface, a curved steel beam will serve for lighting and rain discharge.

“Handrails will also have lighting, which will point to the walkway,” Mack added. “The surface will also be heated for snow and ice during winter months.” The bridge’s surface will be factory- painted a pastel color yet to be determined.

Edward K. Ulhir, FAIA, executive director of Millennium Park Inc., said, “The bridge will be prefabricated and installed at its site. There are railroad tracks beneath the proposed bridge; however, there is currently no source of revenue for covering the tracks. We are hoping for some creative financing.”

The bridge will be open the same hours as Millennium Park, Ulhir added.

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Grant Bark Park opens with a flurry of activity
By Marie Balice Ward


Approximately 300 area residents and their dogs attended the July 15 grand opening of Grant Bark Park, the dog park in Grant Park’s south end approximately at 9th Street between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive.

“It’s a great day for the South Loop,” said master of ceremonies and neighborhood resident LeeAnn Trotter of NBC News.

Political leaders and more than 30 area businesses funded and supported the opening, which featured guest speaker Tim Mitchell, Chicago Park District superintendent. “This is an exciting day,”

Mitchell said. “A great premier class dog park is being opened, the 11th dog park in the City.” The park came about primarily through efforts by Gail Merritt and her South Loop Dog P.A.C., working in conjunction with community residents. During the ceremony, Merritt gave Mitchell a check for $75,000 that South Loop Dog P.A.C. raised by holding events and by selling bricks that now are situated around the fountain at Grant Bark Park. The City matched this amount to develop the dog park, which will be maintained by the South Loop community.

Park supporter and State Representative Ken Dunkin (D-5th) said, “The enthusiasm of Gail Merritt and her committee was contagious. I have been a strong supporter since the idea was presented. It’s a great example of government responding to the people.”

Alderman Madeline Haithcock (2nd Ward), also a staunch supporter of the dog park, provided treats for South Loop pooches and was represented by Cynthia Young, who works with the Alderman and lives in the South Loop.

“It’s been a long time coming,” stated Jackie Devereaux, a Dearborn Park resident and owner of Ivy. “It’s wonderful to be here on its completion day.” “It’s fantastic, worth the wait,” added another Dearborn Park resident, Terri Fron, owner of Lucky and Askum. “Kudos to Gail Merritt for her perseverance.”

Pat Miller, who lives in Printers Row and owns Amundsen (“Ami”) and Shackleton (“Shack”), said the dog park “is amazing, fantastic. It has been designed very well, with attention to detail including the benches along the perimeter.”

Merritt said, “All I can say is that I am thrilled…that the event went so well despite the heat, and that the park turned out so well after all this time and after so many wrinkles.

Most of all I am thrilled that the dogs are loving it and that people are taking care of it. It’s fantastic!” She added that there is still work underway with the Chicago Park District for the design of the official “donor board” and information kiosk. Soggy Paws, Pet Particulars, Jewel Food Stores, Starbucks, Chicago Community Bank, Burnham Park Animal Hospital, and The UPS Store were among the many businesses that contributed to the doggie treat bags and to defraying the event’s other costs.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fire Museum seeks permanent home in Chicago
By Marilyn K. Anderson


New York City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Memphis, Kansas City, and even Aurora and Elgin have one. Can it be that the city that was ablaze with the Great Fire on Oct. 8, 1871, does not have a permanent home for its fire museum?

Instead, Chicago has an old classroom at St. Gabriel’s Elementary School at 4500 S. Wallace St. that had been used for storage.

“We don’t want to just have dusty helmets in a case,” said Frank McMenamin, vice president of the Fire Museum of Greater Chicago. He dreams instead of a state-of-the art museum.

Meanwhile, the current fire museum essentially is a library, serving the fascination and genealogical research of many firefighter enthusiasts from near and far. Up on the third floor of the school, the museum’s location is a far cry from an ideal space that could be displaying antique fire engines, including a 1918 Mack Bulldog high-pressure truck that was part of a fleet that replaced the old horse- drawn fire vehicles and a 1923 Seagrave water tower that was in service from the 1920s to the early 1960s. These unique examples of firefighting memorabilia currently are housed in two separate facilities, one on either end of the city.

Enough is enough. The 980 dues-paying members of the Fire Museum of Greater Chicago, an independent organization incorporated as a 501(c)(3) not-forprofit, want to properly display their collections under one roof. They have set their sights on Engine Company 18 at 1123 W. Roosevelt Rd., which at age 133 is the oldest firehouse in the city still in service.

“Whether at the 18th House or not, this has been going on too long,” commented Andy O’Donnell, the museum’s treasurer and a retired Fire Department chief, who ran the Fire Department Academy for the last nine years of his 34-year career. Having enlisted the help of a pro bono fundraiser, O’Donnell and the other 18 members of the museum’s board are gearing up to launch a capital campaign.

Timing is everything. Recently, Company 18 broke ground on a new building at Blue Island and Racine Avenues, which will leave the structure on Roosevelt available in the next two years unless the City wants it to be put up for bid. “We’re hat in hand in front of them” [the Fire Commissioner and Mayor], said McMenamin.

McMenamin joined the Fire Department in 1971 after serving in Vietnam and stayed on as a firefighter for a dozen years, getting his undergraduate degree and going to dental school while a member of the department. Now retired, McMenamin has been consumed with the museum for the past seven years. He wants it to be a place tourists can get to easily, and he wagers tourists would stay an extra day in the city to see the museum, which would boost hotel and restaurant business.

“We provide the genealogy service to the Fire Department,” he said. “We’ve been the historians, squirreling this away for decades and decades.”

McMenamin explained that when people retire or pass away they give their memorabilia to the fire museum. “They don’t want to lose it, and they don’t. They can visit it any time and still enjoy it.”

With an architect’s plans for 18th House ready to go, the 100% volunteer-staffed fire museum awaits a decision. “We’re not asking the City to give us a building,” said McMenamin. “We want to use it— for a nominal fee. We’ve been told that’s about all the help we’ll get.” “It’s a shame previous generations hadn’t started one” [a fire museum], said O’Donnell. “But we’re bound and determined to get it working.”

What can the public do to help? “We’d like to see people join at the $30 basic membership,” said McMenamin. A membership campaign will be underway soon. While the firehouse on Roosevelt would be ideal, “we’re hoping somebody with a garage building or service station could come forward,” added Phil Little, president of the fire museum for the past six years and a volunteer firefighter since he was a teenager.

Little’s father, a senior fire alarm operator, always was doing research, taking photos, and chasing fires. One of nine siblings, Little always tagged along. Today, he is a facilities manager at Newsweb Corp., although “now I get to drive antique fire engines,” he chuckled. “I’m still playing fireman!”

Little hopes someone will step up to give those fire engines, not to mention all the memorabilia and historical records, a permanent home. The fire museum president summed it all up, “We’d be nice tenants, with the coolest toys!”

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Old August 15th, 2006, 02:10 AM   #151
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I'm not sure if this is just a concept for the Chicago Art Project's new museum or what.



Also, the first page has been updated and expanded.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 05:58 AM   #152
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^ Another great find, Spyguy. Using your link, I found some specific links about this project that are of interest, for those who know nothing about it (as I did up until a few moments ago):

http://www.chicagoartproject.org/htm...ness_plan.html

http://www.chicagoartproject.org/htm...r_article.html

By the way, Spyguy, I had no idea you were continually updating the first page. It is a VERY impressive list (some projects I had never heard about). It kind of reminds me of a smaller version of Steely's gargantuan highrise boom compilation. Perhaps you should introduce this as a compilation thread at SSP as well
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Old August 15th, 2006, 06:13 AM   #153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician
^ Another great find, Spyguy.

By the way, Spyguy, I had no idea you were continually updating the first page. It is a VERY impressive list (some projects I had never heard about). It kind of reminds me of a smaller version of Steely's gargantuan highrise boom compilation. Perhaps you should introduce this as a compilation thread at SSP as well
I strongly second TUP's suggestion.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 01:31 PM   #154
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Short of cash, Cubs postpone parking garage

This is good if they were to revise the project and make it better (consideirng Wrigley is the likey the biggest tourist attrication outside of downtown). I am not counting on it but I am hoping that will end up being the case or they could make cut backs and make it a worse then the vision already laid out for the space.


http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-wrig22.html

Short of cash, Cubs postpone parking garage


August 22, 2006

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter



Wrigleyville will apparently have to wait for the 400-space parking garage that was supposed to follow a 1,790-seat expansion of the Wrigley Field bleachers: The $30 million project is on hold because of rising costs.

Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said the Cubs have told him they're "looking for some additional financial resources" to build a five-story, triangular building expected to house a parking garage, upscale restaurants, retail stores and rooftop garden above ground and batting cages, pitching mounds and workout facilities for Cubs players below.

Construction was supposed to start this fall and last for at least 18 months. Now, nobody knows when ground will be broken -- or whether the Cubs will be forced to scale down a project tailor-made to ease the Wrigleyville parking crunch and turn an eyesore into a neighborhood asset.

"It's a big project. It's an expensive project. They're a little concerned about finding the money. . . . They're committed to building it. They're just concerned about the cost of it," Tunney said.

"They're looking to find some partnering opportunities with other companies in the city, possibly some naming rights. I would assume they might try to bring in somebody who wants their name on Wrigley Field."

Tunney said neither the City Council nor community residents would have approved the long-stalled bleacher expansion without a guarantee that land currently used to provide surface parking for 200 cars would be turned into a 400-space garage for year-round use by residents and businesses.

"The issue is, they've got 1,790 seats without any additional parking. That's the concern the community has and I have. It's a two-way street. They've got to find the resources to build this thing. This 400-car garage right on Clark Street will help the retail corridor immensely," he said.

No public money, Cubs say

"I'm not at all concerned that it will never happen. It's postponed. They've got a commitment they made to the community, and we're going to make sure they stand by it."

Mike Lufrano, vice president for community relations for the Cubs, acknowledged the timetable and design are in limbo.

"The Cubs very much want to build the project. We know it would be a great asset to the team -- and it helps the community. Like many construction projects, though, the costs have gone up and we need to make sure we understand the economics and build the right project," Lufrano said.

Lufrano denied that the construction delay has anything to do with financial problems that have beset Tribune Co., corporate owner of the Cubs. "It's about the cost of the project and having it make economic sense," he said.

Lufrano was asked whether the Cubs might ultimately request a taxpayer subsidy for the $30 million project. "That's not something we've ever done. . . . Everything at Wrigley Field has always been privately funded," he said.

Jointly designed by Kansas City, Mo.-based HOK Sports Facilities Group and Chicago restoration architect John Vinci, the original plan called for the Cubs to fill the property with a triangular building with rounded edges and a rooftop garden.

The 400-space garage would have provided a net increase of 200 spaces from the surface lots it would replace. The building would have been linked directly to the stadium by a pair of overhead breezeways -- one open-air, the other covered.
Cubs have until 2008



The brick-lined pedestrian promenade patterned after the one at Fenway Park in Boston would have been located between the stadium and the new building on land that was once a continuation of Seminary Avenue. The company paid $2.1 million to purchase the land from the city.

The Cubs have used the land for decades as a players parking lot. A search of century-old documents determined that Chicago taxpayers owned the land and that the Tribune Co. bought it for $150,000, shortly after purchasing the Cubs in 1982, from a railroad that didn't have the right to sell it.

The triangular building was included in the "plan development" that paved the way for the bleacher expansion. It requires the Cubs to provide at least 179 new parking spaces -- one space for every 10 new bleacher seats -- before the start of the 2008 season. If the garage shrinks below that number or is eliminated entirely, the Cubs must provide enough surface parking to replace those spaces.
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Old August 24th, 2006, 12:01 AM   #155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarandlee
"They're looking to find some partnering opportunities with other companies in the city, possibly some naming rights. I would assume they might try to bring in somebody who wants their name on Wrigley Field."
OVER MY DEAD BODY!!
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Old August 24th, 2006, 08:25 AM   #156
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I say the Wrigley Company should buy the naming rights if the Tribune Company is stupid enough to go ahead and sell them.
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Old August 24th, 2006, 09:43 AM   #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila
OVER MY DEAD BODY!!
I will not underestimate the stupidity of the Tribune Co. and the Cubs but I don't think they mean to sell the naming rights of Wrigley. I think they are more giving out feelers for the naming rights of just the extension/complex that they are talking about building kind of what they did with the "Bud light bleachers" stupid thing.
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Old August 24th, 2006, 04:27 PM   #158
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The Tribune's fortunes are sagging these days. Making money doesn't seem a dumb thing for profit-making entities like the Tribune and Cubs. Since we can only speculate, perhaps they could find a sponser/owner of the proposed parking garage with prominent naming rights; it could only enhance the Wrigley experience without marring the Wrigley Field image.
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Old September 14th, 2006, 08:36 AM   #159
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http://www.chicagojournal.com/main.a...84&TM=5149.703

No salvation in sight
Near West Side’s loss is Pullman’s $130 million gain

By LAURA PUTRE
, Editor

It's official: the Salvation Army will build its $130 million recreation center in, drum roll … West Pullman.

That announcement, confirmed this week by Salvation Army Public Relations Director Bonnie Johnson, means Near West Side residents will not have a 25-acre campus with swimming pools, baseball fields, water parks, and soccer fields for public use in their backyard.

Earlier this year, the Illinois Medical District, located on the Near West Side, was one of six city sites the Salvation Army seriously considered for the recreation center after Third Ward Alderman Dorothy Tillman shot down a plan to locate the center in Bronzeville.

The center, which will be located at 1100 W. 119th Street in Gano Park, will be funded by a gift from the late Joan Kroc, widow of McDonald's founder Ray Kroc.

John Chandler, president of the University Village Association-the neighborhood group for the Near West Side-said that the choice of West Pullman was a "tragic loss" for Near West residents.

"I think it would have served the economically marginalized, disenfranchised residents of Little Village, Lawndale, and the Near West Side," said Chandler. "It would have had a very fine synergy with all of the important programs going on in the Medical District, with the four major hospitals that are there."

Chandler said that if the board of the Illinois Medical District had put forth more effort to land the recreation center, the neighborhood would have had a good shot. He said IMD board members claimed that they could not provide 25 acres for recreation center because it would not provide direct economic benefit to the medical district according to the district's bylaws.

"There are many people who share my viewpoint that the Illinois Medical District passed up on a very important opportunity," Chandler said.

But Sam Pruett, executive director of the IMD, said the IMD board thought the recreation center "a beautiful, beautiful facility that would have been a great asset," and the missed opportunity had nothing to do with the bylaws. Rather, the IMD does not own 25 contiguous acres on the Near West Side, Pruett said, and the private property the IMD would need to acquire for such a facility could take up to five years to secure through eminent domain. That was too long a wait for the Salvation Army, which was looking for immediately available land, said Pruett.

Speaking for the Salvation Army, Johnson said in an email that "the chairman of the board of the Illinois Medical District, as well as the other members, were all very helpful and cooperative and really wanted the Kroc Center, but the area did not have sufficient acreage to accommodate [it]."

Johnson added that West Pullman was selected for its proximity to public transportation and lack of recreational opportunities. The fact that many low-income families relocated to West Pullman after the razing of the Chicago Housing Authority's Robert Taylor Homes was also a factor, according to Johnson.

"The area is often referred to as the forgotten South Side because it has not received the resources that many of the areas closer to the Loop have received," Johnson wrote.


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Old September 22nd, 2006, 09:01 PM   #160
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South Grant Park Sculptures Comming

The South East Corner of Grant Park will soon be transformed in to a massive Sclupture Garden.



ARTIST RENDERING


Cranes will soon be used to set 106 nine foot hollow iron sculptures on cement pads around the Roosevelt and Michicagn Avenue site. The seamless pieces are untreated iron and they will naturally rust, giving them a reddish hue. The general contractor said that a November 16th Dedication is planned. Additionally the 3 "fairies" that have been on the site for a few years will be removed.



Fencing arrives this morning



To find out more:

Event: Agora: 106 Figures to Grace Grant Park
Date: Oct 12, 2006 12:15 pm - 01:15 pm
"Agora: A Meeting Ground" by world-renowned sculptor Magdelena Abakanovich is a $3 million gift from the artist, a private foundation and the former minister of culture of Poland. It will be installed in the fall at the corner of Roosevelt Road and Michigan Avenue in Grant Park. Cindy Mitchell, commissioner of the Chicago Park District, and Chris Gent, Department of Planning for the Chicago Park District, discuss the artist, how the sculpture was created, what the sculpture means and what it doesn't mean 12:15 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater. In addition, the speakers will explain how the work, comprised of 106 9-foot individualized human figures, came to be a gift to the city of Chicago. Presented by Friends of the Parks and Chicagoland Bicycle Federation.
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