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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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 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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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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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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