Skip to comments.Jackson Park Watch Update – March 30, 2019 (Hussein liebarry)
Posted on 04/04/2019 3:08:56 PM PDT by Libloather
Jackson Park Watch Update March 30, 2019 POSTED ON MARCH 30, 2019 BY JACKSON PARK WATCH
There have been a variety of interesting developments. We note them below.
Major grant to Protect Our Parks
Of great interest is the $100,000 grant given to Protect Our Parks by the Reva and David Logan Foundation to help fund its lawsuit against the City of Chicago and Chicago Park District. That lawsuit concerns the siting of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. The fact that this was described as an initial grant makes it even more significant.
In the statement announcing the grant, Logan Foundation board chairman Richard Logan commented We believe that this land grab is both legally and morally wrong, and that the City of Chicago, the Obama Foundation and their partners need to reconsider their choice of location for this project. There are so many sites in the city that could benefit from the kudos, the opportunities for employment and the neighborhood regeneration without taking public land and destroying historic city parklands.
The Logan Foundation funded the construction of the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago (915 E. 60th St.) The architects who designed the Logan Center, Tod Williams and Billie Tsein, were chosen by the Obama Foundation to design the OPC.
POP lawsuit progresses
Despite prodding by federal Judge John R. Blakey, wrangling between the Protect Our Parks small legal team and the Citys stable of lawyers about the release of documents and the taking of depositions continues as the City has employed the classic technique of running out the clock on the period allowed for discovery. In the last week, however, the City has produced several sets of documents, now under review.
JPW is assisting with document review. One fun find: the City and Obama Foundation have repeatedly asserted that Cornell Drive was originally designed by Olmsted as a bridle path, with the implication that it was narrow and the pace slow. To the contrary, in the Sam Schwartz Engineering traffic studies conducted for the Obama Foundation in 2015, we found this: The streets within the park were originally designed to allow horse and buggies to easily traverse through them. This design provided excess space for modern vehicles, which has led to vehicles using these streets to speed through the park.
Obama Foundation documents reviewed
Because of the discovery requirements set forth by Judge Blakey, the Obama Foundation has also released a new set of documents relating to its selection of the Jackson Park site under the not-too-subtle banner of Jackson Park: The Right Choice.
We encourage you to take a look at the 2014 analysis of the proposals received by the Obama Foundation as it ramped up preparations for the Obama Presidential Center (then Library). Even more interesting is the 2016 analysis by U3Advisors of the economic impact, risks, and opportunities of locating the OPC in either Washington Park or Jackson Park/Woodlawn.
Both analyses demonstrated that the Washington Park location was at least as favorable as the Jackson Park/Woodlawn location. They also make it clear that one decisive difference was the relative risk and difficulty of the task: The Jackson Park location was the safe choice, with well-established partner organizations ready to help out (MSI, Apostolic Church of God, for example, in addition to the University). On the other hand, while the Washington Park location was considerably more aligned with the Obama Foundations claim to be engaged in community development and transformation, no such partner organizations were already on hand and having to serve as the main engine of change single-handedly posed a far more difficult set of challenges. One might suggest that, rather than the right choice, Jackson Park was the safe choice.
Also of interest is the economic impact study completed in 2016 but now released in full for the first time. Relying on projections of visits to the OPC as well as potential developments and events that may or may not materialize, it can best be considered aspirational.
For those inclined to more reading and a more measured assessment, we recommend the fine Next City commentary on the likely impacts of the Obama Presidential Center on Chicagos South Side. It takes a somewhat new and very useful look at the voices and issues involved.
Chicago is all about the beautiful public green spaces.
Only a complete, narcissistic douchbag would want to build a monument to himself in the middle of a sacred public space.
Not to mention whr a piece of ugly crap the architecture they are proposing, it looks like a giant hut.
Shouldn’t he be putting his Library in Kenya?
Ebenezer Lutheran might be interested in selling to the O-library. Fine Southside location...if you have security guards.
Would be a fine stick in the eye, I think.
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