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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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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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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Pressure Pack Posits Parks in Peril
Nov25

Pressure Pack Posits Parks in Peril

We’re used to thinking of parks as forever places.  Permanent municipal installations that often have been here since we were born, and will remain long after we’ve passed. But not so fast, says Friends of the Parks, the Chicago group that pops up every time someone even thinks about placing a brick near Grant Park.  Taking a page from Preservation Illinois, it’s put out a list of the city’s most endangered...

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