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The [Friday] Papers

Here cometh the dreamer. Let us slay him and see what becomes of his dream.

* "I Have A Dream"

* "April 4, 1968: A Day Of Infamy At The Defender"

* "40 Years After The Riots: Residents Say Lawndale Area Is Still In Shambles"

God's Work
"Years ago, I asked him why he ran for mayor in 1991, when it was virtually impossible to defeat Mayor Daley," Mary Mitchell writes today of Eugene Pincham, who died on Thursday.

"Pincham told me that somebody had to challenge Daley and that he had prayed about it. He didn't want to face God without having done everything he was supposed to do, he said."

Perverting the Dream
Sayeth the mayor: "You tell me that children from Hanson Park, from the West Side or South Side or any neighborhood can't go to a museum in Grant Park?"

Well, wouldn't it be easier for those kids if the museum was on the West Side or South Side? Are you telling me those children don't deserve to have a museum in their neighborhood? And, as the Defender notes, Lawndale is still in shambles. Maybe a museum would help.

*

"They're only five years old. They're not gangbangers. They're not drug dealers."

You know, they're good blacks.

*

"I'm very passionate about it. I think it's really important to have a great children's museum next to Millennium Park. What's more important?"

I can think of at least a hundred things more important, but let's start with little things like supplying the city's poorest kids with freakin' decent textbooks.

Beachwood reader Geoff Stander says: We may be putting kids at the center of the city, but with the proposed underground design, aren't we really just pushing them down in to the basement?

*

"We have really enjoyed an outpouring of support from everyday citizens across the city of Chicago," museum president Jennifer Farrington says.

A) Produce three of them!
B) And that outpouring will get even louder if Hill & Knowlton spends our money wisely!
C) Is it really the right thing to do to teach children to lie to obtain your goals?

*

"Although opponents counter that public opinion is overwhelmingly on their side, what's clear is that the museum enjoys strong support from Mayor Daley and a long list of people with close ties to him," the Tribune reports.

Behold, The Chicago Children's Clout Museum!

"Together with its application to city officials, the museum estimated it's spending $85,000 for lobbyists, real estate consultants and others to push forward the proposed move from Navy Pier to a new building on Randolph Street, at Grant Park's northern edge," the Trib says.

"'The Children's Museum's roster of lawyers, lobbyists, directors and consultants reads like a who's who of Chicago clout and influence,' said Ald. Brendan Reilly, who opposes the plan for the site in his 42nd Ward."

Among the players working on the museum's behalf, according to the Trib:

* Meredith O'Connor, the sister-in-law of Ald. Patrick O'Connor (40th); Meredith O'Connor works for Jones Lang LaSalle, the museum's project manager
* Patrick O'Connor serves on the Plan Commission, which will consider the museum's proposal
* As does Chicago Transit Authority Chairwoman Carole Brown, who is also a museum director
* DLA Piper, the law firm whose partners include Daley nephew Patrick Thompson.
* Longtime mayoral supporter, Marilyn Katz, the PR whiz who cashed in on her contract to promote the mayor's blue bag recycling program.

The fix is in, folks. The deal is done. And it's the mayor and museum officials who are acting like children.

Brendan's Beat
"Usually, when a developer is seeking approval from the Plan Commission, they review that application with the local alderman prior to them making the filing," Reilly says. "The fact that they didn't says, perhaps, that they're not open to extensive public scrutiny."

*

"Tom Wolf, president of Friends of Downtown, said he fears that granting the museum's request would set a dangerous precedent.

"We see this as the tipping point," Wolf said. "If the Children's Museum is allowed to build in Grant Park, what stops any other cultural institution from coming next?"

But the precedent has already been set - with Millennium Park.

"The museum also argues its plan complies with the city's Lakefront Protection Ordinance, especially in light of the above-ground structures, such as the Harris Theater's entrance pavilion, that the commission allowed in Millennium Park, which is a part of Grant Park."

And it's not just the Harris Theater. It's the Gehry pavilion.

"[Project manager Ed] Uhlir recognized, unbeknownst to anyone else, the gravity of the meeting: Frank Gehry's pavilion violated the Montgomery Ward height restrictions in Grant Park," Timothy Gilfoyle wrote in Millennium Park: Creating a Chicago Landmark.

"But he devised an ingenious solution. He was well aware that the Illinois Supreme Court had indicated, without actually ruling on the matter, that certain structures necessary to the proper use of Grant Park are not 'buildings.' These include shelters to provide protection during storms, band stands, lavatories, and similar support structures.With this caveat in mind, Uhlir determined that Gehry's bandshell - specifically the curving ribbons of stainless steel above the proscenium reaching more than 130 feet in some parts - was not a physical structure or a building. Rather, it was a piece of art . . . He admitted that if the cantilevered metal ribbons were defined as a 'structure,' the pavilioin was indeed in violation of the park's height limitations."

It was a ruse.

"Back in Los Angeles, Frank Gehry knew little about this political maneuvering. 'I don't know that they necessarily got art,' he said after learning about it, 'but they got a building.'"

Programming Note
Don't forget to visit me at Division Street.

The Beachwood Tip Line: In the name of love.



Permalink

Posted on April 4, 2008


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
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SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Northwestern Still Sucks.

BOOKS - Bannon, The Best And The Brightest.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: A Jukebox Is Not A Democracy.


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