. . . and this is a just released rendering of the design the Chicago Children's Museum is seeking to clout into Grant Park. (You can see three new renderings released by the museum Monday on Chicago Tribune architectural critic Blair Kamin's The Skyline blog, here.)
Kind of reminds you of an updated version of the covered walkways at the University of Illinois, Chicago campus that ultimately proved so unpopular they were demolished in the 1990's.
What is now a berm housing the current Daley Bicentennial fieldhouse, fully landscaped and gently sloping down from Upper Randolph to the park level, with twin ramps gracefully providing access to the park from both the northeast and northwest corners of the site . . .
becomes, in CCM's dispiriting proposal, a convoluted switchback profusion of ramps.
Undoubtedly, the spin doctors at CCM have taken out their tape measures to be able to claim that their new design has just as much green space as the current configuration, but a quick visual comparison . . .
. . . shows that the footprint of CCM's latest design (bottom) cuts a much larger swatch through the park. Just as importantly, much of the surviving green space is sliced and diced into thin, useless strips, isolated islands, and cul de sac dead ends.
You begin to understand why the museum has, until recently, assiduously withheld renderings of their design. Each new drawing, intended to show how the project is responding to critics and getting better and better, only winds up making the thing look worse and worse.
On Monday, the museum trotted out another manufactured committee, this time of educators, in support of their proposals. It appears that Board of Education employees were given paid time off to appear at the press conference.
In contrast to the ad hoc astroturf groups that will disappear the moment the Children's Museum issue is resolved, the list of the real, standing organizations opposing the Museum - those with ongoing memberships, boards, and long, distinguished histories - grew again on Monday, adding the voice of the Metropolitan Planning Council:
We deserve better than being presented with the proposal to relocate the Chicago Children's Museum to Grant Park as a fait accompli without the benefit of a thoughtful planning process which would have added clarity and provided answers to many of the issues circling this controversial proposal. In the absence of those answers and a public planning process, we cannot support this plan.The paragraph came at the end of a letter signed by Lee Mitchell, Chairman of the MPC Board of Governors, and by President Mary Sue Barrett, a former Daley administration official. The Children's Museum proposal goes before the Chicago Plan Commission, this Thursday, May 15th.