Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Six Reasons Why the Chicago Children's Museum doesn't belong at Daley Bicentennial Plaza in Grant Park

No pictures, pretty or otherwise. You can find a lot of those elsewhere.

As the Chicago Plan Commission's consideration of the Chicago Children's Museum proposed move to Grant Park grows near, we offer an extended summary argument on why putting it there would be a very bad thing. Read it all here.


Anonymous said...

Lynn, an absolutely stunning summary of the issue.

Thanks, you are my hero!

R2J said...

Lynn, I typically agree with your statements but in this case, the more I read and see of the design the more I have mixed thoughts on the topic.

I agree that Grant Park must be free, open, and clear. (I also thing that the Petrillo band shell must be removed yesterday) While the concept of 'putting children underground' is quite comical and is inherently flawed, I do think it is an adequate compromise for where they are trying to be.

I lack the credentials of yourself, poster Jack, or Blair Kamin, but, as I was taught from one of the top designers at Gensler, architecture is public art and everyone's opinion matters and is perfectly valid - we all have taste.

I will say that I do not find Bicentennial Park to be a breathtaking piece of city architecture. (The Butterfly Garden is a separate piece and is quite stunning.) It is outdated and not in a charming way. Its form as a bunker in a hill does not lend to its function as a field house open for all.

Access to the park is questionable at best and it rarely has a high occupancy that would be expected in a downtown park.

At the end of the day, something must be done to this land.

Is it the museum or an improved park, I'll let others battle it out.

But one thing that I would vehemently state is that the Park District should not provide any subsidies as was stated. The Park District should profit off a private entity using space and reinvest this in other parts.

I think that ultimately a design could result in a near equal usable square footage of park area and improved accessibility (not just ADA but pedestrian), which could be beneficial to all.

What has been most significantly lacking is tact. This is a design that has been near shoved down everyone's throats and is being forced through. Setting those thoughts aside, there may be a workable solution that meets the Ward Mandate with caveats limiting future development.

Tony said...

What about the Chicago Lakefront Protection Ordinance? No one brings this up, just references to Ward. This is modern and agreeable with what is in place.