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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New Paperwork Details the Conditions for Chicago’s Obama Presidential Center 
Sep25

New Paperwork Details the Conditions for Chicago’s Obama Presidential Center 

Paperwork has been filed that moves the Barack Obama Presidential Center a little closer to reality. The Chicago department of Planning and Development introduced an ordinance that includes master, use, and environmental agreements between the city of the Obama Foundation. Federal reviews of the project are underway, and the Foundation hopes to break ground on the 20-acre project in Jackson Park next year.  You may remember the...

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Take a Trip Back In Time With The Chicago Park District
Sep10

Take a Trip Back In Time With The Chicago Park District

Two of Chicago’s most valuable — and under-appreciated — public amenities have gotten together to enhance your love of the Windy City.  The Chicago Park District has donated 10,000 historic photographs of the city’s parks to the Chicago Public Library, which has made them available to see for free on the intarwebs. This is where your journey down the rabbit hole...

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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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What Summer Looks Like in Chicago: 2018 Edition
Jun25

What Summer Looks Like in Chicago: 2018 Edition

About a decade ago we ran a series of articles showing the rooftop pools of various buildings around downtown Chicago.  It was a great taste of urban life during the lazy days of the year. Now that the first full week of summer is here, we present a selection of photos from around the city showing updated views of the parks, roofs, balconies, pools, and other places where Chicagoans spend their free time in the sunshine. Be sure to...

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Obama Presidential Center on Today’s Agenda
May17

Obama Presidential Center on Today’s Agenda

The Obama Presidential Center has caught what the British call “the American disease.”  That means a lawsuit. The proposal to slurp up a chunk of Jackson Park and close some neighboring streets has neighbors so upset, they’re going to ask a judge to stop it. If you’ve been following this saga, you know that the Obama Foundation ruffled feathers when it decided that instead of using the abundant vacant private...

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Chicago Inches Closer to Finishing Riverwalk Between North Avenue and Division
Apr03

Chicago Inches Closer to Finishing Riverwalk Between North Avenue and Division

You may or may not have seen blog headlines in the last few days stating that Chicago is getting a new riverwalk.  Well, that’s not quite the truth.  It’s more like the next door neighbor of the truth. What really happened is that Chicago city council approved money that will be used to put together a plan to develop a framework which will guide other people sometime in the future to use some unknown source of money to...

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Opposition Growing Against Obama Museum Eating Jackson Park
Nov29

Opposition Growing Against Obama Museum Eating Jackson Park

Just a day after the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the feds are going to examine the placement of the Barack Obama Presidential Center on a prime chunk of public park, neighbors are getting organized to save their green space. “Save the Midway” has been formed to protect the city’s beloved Midway Plaisance from a parking garage and charter bus staging area that the Obama Foundation wants to build at the head of the...

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Digging Dirt in the Future DuSable Park
Nov28

Digging Dirt in the Future DuSable Park

Thirty years after Chicago Mayor Harold Washington named the spit of land along the Chicago River east of Lake Shore Drive DuSable Park, dirt is once again moving to make the vision a reality. There have been dozens and dozens of ideas floated for the grassy, radioactive nub officially designated Jean Baptiste Pointe.  But the only real action there in the last 15 years was when it was used for construction staging for the failed...

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Park Pals Protest Potential Park Peril from Proposed Presidential Parking Plan
Nov07

Park Pals Protest Potential Park Peril from Proposed Presidential Parking Plan

The advocacy group Friends of the Parks made headlines last year when it successfully scared Hollywood director George Lucas away from Chicago, handing his free billion-dollar art museum to Los Angeles on a silver platter. At the time, there were minor rumblings about the group’s true commitment to the city’s parks since it opposed the Lucas museum plan in Grant Park, but was silent on the Obama museum plan in the...

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