Powerful Parks Group Non-Committal on Rahm’s Lucas Museum Plan

McCormick Place - Chicago, Illinois - July, 2009 - 004a

Fresh from scuttling Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plans for a new $700 million museum along Chicago’s lakefront, neighborhood group Friends of the Parks is taking something of a verbal victory lap.

Hizzonor has apparently abandoned plans to place the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in a parking lot near Soldier Field, and is now willing to lay down McCormick Place’s Lakeside Center as the sacrificial lamb, hoping to appease the park people.

In response, Friends of the Parks put out the following non-statement from executive director Juanita Irizarry:

We are pleased that the mayor and the City recently opened the door to Friends of the Parks for more direct conversation about the Lucas Museum. Our intent, as it always has been, is to protect, preserve and promote parks and to ensure that everyone has the best possible access to lakefront land, while encouraging the City to find the right spot for the Lucas Museum. We continue to seek more information and clarification as we engage in discussions with the City.

Translation:  Look at us!  Did you see what we did there?  We got the mayor to blink!  Look at how powerful we are!  What?  The museum?  So sorry, we’re too busy patting ourselves on the back to get to that just yet.

Location: 2301 South Lake Shore Drive, South Loop


Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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  1. I want this museum, it’s benefits and tourists, built here now!
    Anywhere is just fine with me.
    I can ride my bike a little bit further if I feel I must have more parkland.
    These parking lot people do not speak for me and I want someone to speak for me.
    If it’s the mayor, then so be it, build it please.

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  2. Wish someone would do an expose story on this group “Friends of the Park”.

    All that’s available online is their board of directors and some staff. But who is pulling the strings of this group? Are they mostly just rich soccer moms with nothing else to do?

    Do they have economic interests in keeping the parking lot by Soldier Field or something? Seriously what is the end game…..same some parking lots and grass near the lake? Build up their political clout?

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