OHC Photos: Museum of Science and Industry
Nov08

OHC Photos: Museum of Science and Industry

There exists a scientific formula known as the Nike-Starbucks Coefficient. By comparing the amount of tread worn off of your sneakers with the amount of coffee consumed in mid-October, it’s possible to predict how many photographs you took during Open House Chicago. We can only speculate what the Nike-Starbucks Coefficient is for Jennifer Mishra of Wits End Photography, who shared with us her OHC pictures of the Museum of...

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Obama Center Design Revised Again
Oct28

Obama Center Design Revised Again

The design of the Barack Obama Presidential Center has been tweaked again.  Today the Obama Foundation released new information and renderings of the museum campus it wants to build in Jackson Park. October 219 rendering of the Obama Presidential Center (Courtesy of the Obama Foundation) The most notable change is in the main museum tower.  It’s still 235 feet tall, but its shape is a little slimmer and it features large...

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Obama Center Approved by Council, but Challenges Remain
Nov05

Obama Center Approved by Council, but Challenges Remain

Chicago city council has approved an ordinance that spells out how the Barack Obama Presidential Center will become a reality. The Cliff’s Notes version is that the Obama Foundation must raise money to build the museum, then raise more money for an endowment to run it, then build the museum, then give the facility to City Hall, along with ten bucks.  That’s a rent of 10¢ a year, for 99 years. Even though several aldermen...

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Rahm’s “Meigs Moment:” Not-Yet-Approved Obama Center Leaving a Premature Scar on Jackson Park
Aug08

Rahm’s “Meigs Moment:” Not-Yet-Approved Obama Center Leaving a Premature Scar on Jackson Park

Remember in 2003 when former mayor Richard M. Daley bulldozed Meigs Field in the middle of the night?  It was an act of hubris that cost the city $33,000 in federal fines and a million dollars in misspent airport funds.  At the time, the Chicago Tribune wrote, “The issue is Daley’s increasingly authoritarian style that brooks no disagreements, legal challenges, negotiations, compromise or any of that messy give-and-take...

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No Need To Worry About That $175 Million Bill For Obama Center Roadwork
Jun18

No Need To Worry About That $175 Million Bill For Obama Center Roadwork

Just when you thought the State of Illinois didn’t have two spare pennies to rub together, Springfield is sending a big fat gym bag full of cash to the Windy City to help make its former hometown President’s project a reality. The state, which was named America’s Most Messed Up State by CNN Money, is sending Chicago a $180 million grant from the road fund to pay for infrastructure projects.  97% of those tax dollars...

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O? Yes! Chicago Plan Commission Approves Obama Presidential Center
May17

O? Yes! Chicago Plan Commission Approves Obama Presidential Center

It’s not unusual for there to be some pretty rancorous behavior when a new real estate development is presented to the public.  Chicago NIMBY groups are practiced partisans.  But it’s been many years since we’ve seen a scene like the one at City Hall today.  The spark for this fire was the Obama Presidential Center. Inside 121 North LaSalle’s hallowed chambers the Chicago Plan Commission unanimously approved...

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Obama Presidential Center Hits Paper. Here’s The Details and Diagrams
Jan22

Obama Presidential Center Hits Paper. Here’s The Details and Diagrams

The Obama Presidential Center, planned for a sunny stretch of Jackson Park, has been making headlines around the world for the last few weeks.  But not in a good way. Publications from British tabloids to glossy Asian design mags to conspiracy web sites have been carrying stories about what appears to be growing opposition to the project’s scale, impact, location, and sometimes even its existence. (link link link link link link...

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Park Pals Prevail, Plaisance Presidential Parking Peril Passes
Jan09

Park Pals Prevail, Plaisance Presidential Parking Peril Passes

The proposal to turn a city block’s worth of public park over to a private organization to build a parking garage is dead. It was announced late last night that the Barack Obama Presidential Center has decided not to build its controversial parking garage and transit center on the Midway Plaisance. The parking deck and bus idling area were met with scorn and disbelief by neighbors and fans of public space when it surfaced last...

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Obama Center Clarifies Its Plaisance Park Parking Plan
Aug28

Obama Center Clarifies Its Plaisance Park Parking Plan

The Obama Foundation has revealed its plans for a chunk of the Midway Plaisance across the street from the new Barack Obama Presidential Center.  It wants to use the  tree-lined open lawn for a parking garage and transit center. The Obama Foundation describes the public open parkland as “underutilized,” which is kind of the point of open parkland.  In modern landscaping terms, the space will be “activated” with...

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Park Pals Pass on Protesting Presidential Plan
Aug05

Park Pals Pass on Protesting Presidential Plan

A couple of days ago, the Obama Foundation announced that Chicago’s Jackson Park will be the location of the Barack Obama Presidential Center. The decision came as a surprise to some observers who believed that Washington Park was a lock. The Jackson decision now leaves them with neighborhood revitalization plans unrealized. Also not happy with the choice is Friends of the Parks. You may remember it as the N.G.O. that scared George...

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