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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
New Studio Gang Building Up For Approval This Week
Feb15

New Studio Gang Building Up For Approval This Week

This Thursday, the Chicago Plan Commission will be asked to give its approval to another new Studio Gang building in the greater Hyde Park area. Studio Gang has been very active in the neighborhood over the last few years, starting with the renovation of the old Shoreland Hotel for Antheus Capital in 2014, then the recently opened 14-story mixed use building called City Hyde Park at 5105 South Harper Avenue, and the still under...

Read More
Slice of Life: Osaka Garden
Jan04

Slice of Life: Osaka Garden

Built on an artificial island for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago’s Osaka Garden is a great place to get away for a bit and just clear your head. The area was mostly swampland before being transformed by  Frederick Law Olmsted and Daniel Burnham into a lagoon and island.  It was deliberately created to give people a place to go and rest; a reprieve from the hubbub of the world’s fair. If you go, keep...

Read More
Slice of Life: Something Fishy at the Museum
Dec28

Slice of Life: Something Fishy at the Museum

Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry (5700 South Lake Shore Drive) is one of its architectural treasures, and one of the city’s buildings that I think looks better from behind (the lagoon side) than the front (the lawn side). The building is one of the few structures remaining from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, where it served as the Palace of Fine Arts.  It was designed by by Charles B. Atwood when he...

Read More