Friday, May 16, 2008

News Flash: Plan Commission Approves Children's Museum Land Grab

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey - I thought they did lots of interesting hemming and hawing trying to reason why they are voting for the proposal so they would have some exuses for the media. You don't buy it?

Anonymous said...

Those alderman who are against the move should openly demand the resignation of the 17 members of the Plan Commission who voted in favor of the move.

We are not hearing enough from the opposing aldermen. They are making Reilly do all the talking.

Then, when the City Council approves the move 26-24, or by some similar vote, the opposing aldermen can say, "Well at least I opposed it."

For me that is not good enough. Get in the game, you aldermen on Reilly's side, or by your silence you are giving this thing your tacit approval.

Oh yeah, I am actually expecting aldermen to DO something. I'll stop dreaming now.

the Grant Park 26 said...

26 Alderman can make city history by voting "NO" and Saving Grant Park.

They could be heroes for avoiding a llloooonnggg drawn out lawsuit at tax payers (voters) expense.

Call your alderman NOW!

Anonymous said...

The Chicago Children's Museum relocation to Grant Park should be approved for the following reasons:

1. The proposed museum site is accessible for children, families, and school groups from all areas of Chicago - this is evidenced by the numerous community groups from all over Chicago (including Chicago Public Schools) who are requesting a central location - a location that enables the families they serve to attend the museum both as a community group and again as a family unit.

2. The proposed green museum is taking the place of the dilapidated parking structure that is currently located underground - the need for this parking structure (which charges money and is therefore not a "free" area on Grant Park) to be renovated would cause the same park disturbance

3. The proposed museum actually creates more green area AND makes the park entrance universally accessible - all public areas in Chicago should be universally accessible

4. The traffic pattern will allow for multiple entrances to the universally accessible museum (upper, middle, lower Randolph) easing traffic congestion and limiting the chaos that occurs when arriving groups are combined with other crowds. A connected and covered parking garage is also a huge plus, as any family with young children knows!

5. If you want to get technical, the proposed museum is actually below the grade of the park - the brilliant sunlight is captured through window-lined walls along the slope of the park. The whole design is actually brilliant itself - it would really put Chicago on the map as an architectural masterpiece. Continuing on technicalities, the Art Institute is also located on park ground (above ground structure? check. charges? check.)

The list actually goes on and on. Technicalities aside, this is a wonderful opportunity for Chicago to stand together behind an organization whose sole goal is to help children experience learning through play - learning side by side with their families - and learning side by side with children from all ends of Chicago.

Perhaps the alderman are doing something historic by voting yes - maybe we CAN put children first.

Anonymous said...

I am Hill & Knowlton and I approve the above message.

Anonymous said...

I am child number 57 who skipped school to ride in the vans of the Woodlawn Organization to City Hall.

Why don't you people want me in your neighborhood?

And next time, for the City Council vote, that Woodlawn van better not be late again.

Lynn Becker said...

The above looks like it was written by CCM's PR department, as it hews almost word-for-word with their official press releases. So let's go through it point by point. My responses in bold.

The Chicago Children's Museum relocation to Grant Park should be approved for the following reasons:

1. The proposed museum site is accessible for children, families, and school groups from all areas of Chicago - this is evidenced by the numerous community groups from all over Chicago (including Chicago Public Schools) who are requesting a central location - a location that enables the families they serve to attend the museum both as a community group and again as a family unit.
The museum's claim that this is absolutely ONLY site that meets these requirements has been proven specious by the Chicago Tribune's ongoing list of other alternatives.
"The numerous community groups from all over Chicago" demanding the Grant Park location is a manufacture of CCM's PR operatives, including the busing in of Public School employees during working hours - i.e., on the taxpayers dime - to populate their press conference.
The "evidence" is still predominantly made out of fictitious Astroturf.


2. The proposed green museum is taking the place of the dilapidated parking structure that is currently located underground - the need for this parking structure (which charges money and is therefore not a "free" area on Grant Park) to be renovated would cause the same park disturbance
More nonsense. No one has ever come up with a compared expense of renovating the current fieldhouse versus the $20 million it will take to construct a new one. And if it does require replacement, there is no logical link to the conclusion that it also requires an additional 100,000 square feet of new construction.
Also mind-boggling is the museum's addled logic that it's okay to add admission-required CCM to a free public park because they already charge for parking your car in the existing garage. In CCM's warped mindset, there's absolutely no difference between paying to stash a machine in a garage, and then going somewhere else, and paying to pack your kids - not machines, but human beings the last time I checked - into their parking garage museum.


3. The proposed museum actually creates more green area AND makes the park entrance universally accessible - all public areas in Chicago should be universally accessible
The museum's "green" area is largely sliced and diced into marginally to completely unusable areas by the complex of ramps it seeks to construct on the current site of the berm enclosing the present fieldhouse. And, again, suggesting that making the park ADA accessible must inevitably lead to 120,000 square feet of new construction is a leap of logic that could only exist in the museum's fevered mind.

4. The traffic pattern will allow for multiple entrances to the universally accessible museum (upper, middle, lower Randolph) easing traffic congestion and limiting the chaos that occurs when arriving groups are combined with other crowds. A connected and covered parking garage is also a huge plus, as any family with young children knows!
Didn't you get the memo? The CCM is claiming their traffic studies show their new museum will have no - that's right, absolutely zip - impact on traffic in the area. Apparently even you, gentle poster, find this too incredible to countenance.

There is currently no access "chaos" to Daley Bicentennial Plaza. It will only occur if the CCM is allowed to jam the site with over a half million more people each year. The museum paints itself as a hero for making slightly less bad a terrible situation that exists only because of its added presence.


5. If you want to get technical, the proposed museum is actually below the grade of the park - the brilliant sunlight is captured through window-lined walls along the slope of the park. The whole design is actually brilliant itself - it would really put Chicago on the map as an architectural masterpiece. Continuing on technicalities, the Art Institute is also located on park ground (above ground structure? check. charges? check.)
I urge anyone to look closely at the new design. The "brilliant" ramps are really just the old skylights stuffed under a convoluted series of walkways slicing up what is now continuous landscaping into so much swiss cheese.
A. Montgomery Ward regretted making a sole exception for the Art Institute, and time has proven him right. Make no mistake. The Art Institute is a world class institution and one of Chicago's greatest jewels, but it has gone from its original building to a huge complex that now fills up almost four city blocks. And please, Hill and Knowlton, stop making us laugh. The CCM is no Art Institute. And tell us, please, what new horrors will you have in store for us when
YOU need to expand?


The list actually goes on and on. Technicalities aside, this is a wonderful opportunity for Chicago to stand together behind an organization whose sole goal is to help children experience learning through play - learning side by side with their families - and learning side by side with children from all ends of Chicago.
Please get off your self-congratulatory high horse. The Field Museum and Museum of Science and Industry have been doing this decade after decade, doing it better, and doing it for millions more children and parents than the CCM. The CCM is a comparatively recent - and welcome - addition, which for all its progress has yet to approach anywhere near the achievement of these other institutions. If it diverted even a tenth of the energy it's currently expending trying to muscle its way into Grant Park, it might have a better chance of narrowing the gap.

Perhaps the alderman are doing something historic by voting yes - maybe we CAN put children first.
With it's design for Grant Park, the CCM's design clearly puts children second, exiting them from buses amidst the gas fumes of lower Randolph and sequestering them in an underground windowless bunker. This isn't a design; it's a political strategy.

Ryan said...

I hate to disagree with you Lynn but I really want Chicago to be on the map architecturally speaking. For too long architecture in this town has been stale and boring. What architects do we have to present to the world? Do any even come to mind in the history of Chicago architecture? I sure can't think of any.
I was actually against the CCM move until I heard that we'd be on the architectural map. Wow, have my eyes been opened.
/end sarcasm

Anonymous said...

If the current land-grabbing location has been approved, then why was there a full-page/color ad taken out in today's Chicago Tribune?!

Lynn Becker said...

Insurance? Maybe it's not the done deal they keep posturing it is.

Anonymous said...

A full page ad in the Trib AND the Suntimes today. We're talking upwards of $75K to pay for those. Money that should be going into progamming. Has anyone checked into the CCM financial???

Anonymous said...

I kind of doubt the Tribune and Sun-Times would be donating the ad space.