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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Fed’s Report on Jackson Park Obama Center a Little Rough; Here Are the Highlights
Jul30

Fed’s Report on Jackson Park Obama Center a Little Rough; Here Are the Highlights

A draft of the federal government’s report on the proposed construction of the Barack Obama Presidential Center is out. It was prepared for the National Park Service, the Federal Highway Administration, and IDOT by the City of Chicago. The report spells out what happens if the Obama Center is built in Jackson Park, and what it really means. Obama Presidential Center model (Courtesy of the Obama Foundation) It’s a lot of...

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Chicago Harbors Already Getting Ready for Summer
Mar18

Chicago Harbors Already Getting Ready for Summer

It’s officially spring, but you’d never know it around here. While we’re still freezing our Vienna Sausages off, preparations are already underway for the summer boating season. Chicago Harbors is busy with the first of three phases of a seven million dollar renovation across the city’s 6,000-slip harbor network, which is supposed to be the largest in the world, if you believe Wikipedia. Burnham Harbor dock...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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