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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Obama Library Price Jumps 50% in 9 Months
Feb27

Obama Library Price Jumps 50% in 9 Months

It was already the biggest cultural landmark to come to the South Side in a generation.  Now it’s going to be the biggest financial injection into the region of Chicago in modern memory. Just nine months after former president Barack Obama stated that he needed a billion dollars to build his presidential library and museum, that price is now reportedly $1.5 billion. The news was broken by the New York Post’s Richard...

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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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Trib: Obama Library To Land in Jackson Park
Jul28

Trib: Obama Library To Land in Jackson Park

We’re still a week away from an official announcement, but the Chicago Tribune says President Barack Obama has chosen Jackson Park for the Obama Presidential Center. It was quite some time ago that the location for the presidential library was narrowed down to either Washington Park, or Jackson Park.  But until now it was widely believed that Washington Park was the front runner. How much of Jackson Park will be impacted by the...

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