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  #621  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2017, 3:24 PM
Ned.B Ned.B is offline
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Taking that quote in the context it was given below, I think that is a good argument for not placing an underground parking garage immediately under the library, as like the Museum of Science and Industry for instance it would allow the visitors to drive in visit and back out without ever stepping foot in the city. It isn't a very good argument for an underground versus above ground garage at the Midway, but I don't think that was the intent.
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  #622  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2017, 5:22 PM
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It's interesting to parse these comments IMO. What kind of side development are they expecting there? The big parcel across from the Library site is Jackson Park Terrace, which is (partly) Section 8 housing. Wouldn't look too good if Obama gentrified the neighborhood and kicked out a few hundred struggling families. I guess it could be redeveloped in such a way that the affordable housing was replaced, but even that can backfire politically (see Atrium Village).

There is a small parcel on the corner of 60th/Stony that is a parking lot owned by the University of Chicago... if there were to be side development, it would be here. I could imagine the University leasing spaces in the new Obama garage for its employees on weekdays, while redeveloping the old parking lot as a mixed-use development with apartments and shops. However, this is a pretty sleepy/low-income area, so the only way to lure retailers would be if there was a stream of high-income museum visitors walking past the site.

There's also a community garden at 59th/Stony that could be redeveloped, but I have to imagine it's managed by a bunch of crotchety old socialists who would allow redevelopment over their dead bodies...
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  #623  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 4:30 AM
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  #624  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 5:11 AM
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I think the word ruin is a bit hyperbolic, but maybe that's just me. The park is still going to be 98% the same or improved upon.
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  #625  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 11:22 AM
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The contractor has been selected for this project. A venture led by Turner Construction.
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  #626  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 2:52 PM
VKChaz VKChaz is offline
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Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post
Guys you are acting like these are accidental planning oversights and not by design. Do we really think Obama wants visitors to his high and mighty computer lab to "interact" with this community? It is quite obvious that this building is designed to be isolated, the last thing Obama wants is for visitors to associate his legacy with the tucked up racial situation on the South Side. The right thing to do here would be to make people uncomfortable and to make them interact with that, but Obama obviously doesn't want to make this library about that. He wants the most grandiose shrine to his ego possible parks be dammned and racial equality be dammed. When the entire design function of a building makes you say "well why is it so isolated" then slash through the befuddlement with Occam's Razor and realize that the simplest explanation is correct: it wasn't designed to help the community, it was designed explicitly to be isolated from it.
Sure, I don't think they were looking to do anything too adventurous, but I don't think it is quite this simple either. For example, at this location the southern edge of the expanding University campus could have made logical sense and at least not been so isolated.
The problem is that anything complicated is more challenging. Creating a vision, acquiring land, demolishing buildings, doing anything in the way of modern urban renewal for the surrounding site - time, effort, money, political will. All of that is hard. Far easier for all parties involved to agree to stick it in a park and call it a day.

Last edited by VKChaz; Jan 5, 2018 at 3:23 PM.
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  #627  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 3:12 PM
west-town-brad west-town-brad is offline
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"cultural landscape foundation"?
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  #628  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2018, 10:32 PM
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Good news regarding the garage being moved, and being put entirely underground beneath Jackson Park. On the other end, probably not so good news about UC staff opposing the Center though. A bit too late in the process for them to come out against the location now, isn't it?



Obama Center has picked up another opponent

Quote:
Barack Obama may be the pride of University of Chicago, but a lot of heavy hitters there are strongly opposing current plans for his library.

More than 100 U of C faculty members who say they support the location of an Obama Center near the campus nevertheless are opposing plans for it on economic and preservation grounds.

They say the center's proposed location lacks room to jump-start economic development, and its footprint will consume parts of historic Jackson Park and the Midway Plaisance. "Not only are public lands being given to a private entity but the public will pay to have Cornell Drive closed and Stony Island Avenue and Lake Shore Drive widened," at an estimated cost to taxpayers of more than $100 million, the faculty wrote in a letter.



The signers include such luminaries as Neil Harris, a history professor emeritus, divinity professor Wendy Doniger and political scientist Charles Lipson.



"We are concerned that rather than becoming a bold vision for urban living in the future it will soon become an object-lesson in the mistakes of the past," the group wrote. "We urge the Obama Foundation to explore alternative sites on the South Side that could be developed with more economic benefits, better public transportation, and less cost to taxpayers. We would be pleased to support the Obama Center if the plan genuinely promoted economic development in our neighborhoods and respected our precious public urban parks."

...

Meanwhile, the foundation has called off plans to locate the center's parking garage on the east end of the Midway. The plan, for an above-ground parking structure, drew opposition from groups including Jackson Park Watch and Save the Midway, both of which include South Side residences and businesses.

“After numerous meetings with the community and other valued stakeholders over the past months, the Foundation understands that many of those voices feel strongly that the parking for the OPC should be located within the OPC campus in Jackson Park,” the foundation said in a statement regarding the location of the garage. “The Foundation has heard those voices, and has decided to locate the OPC's parking underground in Jackson Park.”
Source: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/artic...other-opponent
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  #629  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 3:30 AM
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wrong thread

Last edited by nomarandlee; Jan 9, 2018 at 5:08 AM. Reason: wrong thread
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  #630  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 12:43 PM
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In summary, a former President of the United States with significant ties to the South Side of Chicago picks a spot on the South Side of Chicago for his Presidential Museum (The public doesn't really want or care about his papers, if we are being honest. Let's not call it a library). The city donates a prime but underutilized spot in an important public park. The President and his team hold several public hearings to solicit ideas and present their plans. The initial plans for the museum included some good things (reducing the amount of car traffic cutting through the park) and some bad (above ground parking garage and in a most unfortunate location). The major bad thing was scrapped due to community input. On net, this is a huge plus for the city, yes?
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  #631  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 4:01 PM
Vlajos Vlajos is offline
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^ Agree, not much to complain about. They are putting the parking underground, where it should be.
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  #632  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 4:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuildThemTaller View Post
In summary, a former President of the United States with significant ties to the South Side of Chicago picks a spot on the South Side of Chicago for his Presidential Museum (The public doesn't really want or care about his papers, if we are being honest. Let's not call it a library). The city donates a prime but underutilized spot in an important public park. The President and his team hold several public hearings to solicit ideas and present their plans. The initial plans for the museum included some good things (reducing the amount of car traffic cutting through the park) and some bad (above ground parking garage and in a most unfortunate location). The major bad thing was scrapped due to community input. On net, this is a huge plus for the city, yes?
Pretty much agree but am a bit curious about your emphasis on not calling it a library. Is this supposed to be condescending or do you mean it in the sense that people won't be interested in 44's papers like say they are interested in Nixon's?
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  #633  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 4:23 PM
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The UofC professors are really, really late to the game. My guess is they’re just annoyed about the traffic (and they say as much in the letter).

The irony of those guys complaining about this is that UofC has been really terrible (seemingly by design) at delivering projects that kickstart development and improve the local community.
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  #634  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 6:30 PM
Jim in Chicago Jim in Chicago is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuildThemTaller View Post
In summary, a former President of the United States with significant ties to the South Side of Chicago picks a spot on the South Side of Chicago for his Presidential Museum (The public doesn't really want or care about his papers, if we are being honest. Let's not call it a library). The city donates a prime but underutilized spot in an important public park. The President and his team hold several public hearings to solicit ideas and present their plans. The initial plans for the museum included some good things (reducing the amount of car traffic cutting through the park) and some bad (above ground parking garage and in a most unfortunate location). The major bad thing was scrapped due to community input. On net, this is a huge plus for the city, yes?
The location is just plain wrong. It intrudes upon a historic but rundown section of parkland that deserves to be returned to the original design, rather than the insertion of a sort of post-Mayan temple.

There is a perfect spot, not parkland and undeveloped at the NW corner of King Drive and Garfield that's sitting there empty and is right on top of a CTA station and with easy car access from the Ryan. No need to take over any parkland at all. The UofC is making a major investment in the land on the South Side (under construction at the moment).

And oh, it isn't a library. It won't hold the archives which will remain in DC at the National Archives, this is a museum and community center.
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  #635  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 6:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BuildThemTaller View Post
In summary, a former President of the United States with significant ties to the South Side of Chicago picks a spot on the South Side of Chicago for his Presidential Museum (The public doesn't really want or care about his papers, if we are being honest. Let's not call it a library). The city donates a prime but underutilized spot in an important public park. The President and his team hold several public hearings to solicit ideas and present their plans. The initial plans for the museum included some good things (reducing the amount of car traffic cutting through the park) and some bad (above ground parking garage and in a most unfortunate location). The major bad thing was scrapped due to community input. On net, this is a huge plus for the city, yes?
I think a huge plus for the city would have been the Washington Park location.

We don't have the luxury of dozens of quality open parks in this city to give away huge chunks of free land and call it a "large win". It's a shame that the Obama's felt that only this spot made a great choice given all the considerations. Rather selfish and egomaniacal to be honest.
Granted if it was the current President he would try to take up 2/3rd of Central Park for a Library but that is another animal.

What's done is done and power/money play.
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  #636  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 7:04 PM
west-town-brad west-town-brad is offline
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What I observe with the site selection of the Obama Center is a desire to push an area over the hump to long term critical mass/success.

Instead of spreading city and quasi-private investments equally across the city or the south side in this case, by concentrating these investments into one area you can have a higher chance of long term success.

The downside of this is clear (some areas get nothing) but the upside is that we at least have some areas doing well. Over time these areas serve as expanding nodes.

I think Mr. Obama himself said something like "we need a park like Lincoln Park on the south side" to serve as that expanding node.
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  #637  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 7:10 PM
BuildThemTaller BuildThemTaller is offline
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
Pretty much agree but am a bit curious about your emphasis on not calling it a library. Is this supposed to be condescending or do you mean it in the sense that people won't be interested in 44's papers like say they are interested in Nixon's?
I guess I think of a library as a place to go, read some things, study, access social services, etc. It's a collection that you get to handle and maybe take out of the building for a time. This is a museum and community center. It will be a big draw for people that want to go and learn about the President, his family, and the things he did leading up to and during his time in office.

Thanks to others for pointing out the other criticisms. I was hoping to hear that other side. It's important to remember the original vision of Jackson Park, as well as how it has evolved over time. I don't agree with all of it and think "ego-maniacal" is going too far in the personal name calling. Presidents build museums in modern times. Why should or would we expect that Barack Obama would be different in that regard? And he did consider multiple sites that the city offered to him and his family. If we, the people, should be upset with anyone, it should be the person(s) that offered him that plot of land. The Mayor and Park District are charged with protecting the peoples interest.
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  #638  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 7:19 PM
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If we, the people, should be upset with anyone, it should be the person(s) that offered him that plot of land. The Mayor and Park District are charged with protecting the peoples interest.
i think its possible to take issue with both. yes, its gross that public parkland time and time again gets offered up as a freebie bargaining chip to people in positions of power by our elected politicians. that said, obama didnt "have" to take the offer either. he of all people should understand how sensitive this issue is. and certainly he could just as easily have decided to build something transformative that was woven into the urban fabric, without requiring a single square acre of parkland. hell, he could have built an entirely new world class park if he wanted to on abandoned or neglected land. but he didnt.
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  #639  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 7:47 PM
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I dont know, there are other structures in park land in the city - MSI, the museum campus, art institute, the lincoln park zoo, peggy notebart/childrens nature museum etc, are all built in park land. I dont have a problem with utilizing public space for a different form or a new variety of public space. I dont think its ego-maniacal to follow this same concept.

I also think the idea that this will create a strong principal node/focus area on the south side from which to grow from is a decent one.
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  #640  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2018, 8:25 PM
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he of all people should understand how sensitive this issue is. and certainly he could just as easily have decided to build something transformative that was woven into the urban fabric, without requiring a single square acre of parkland.
You say this like it's some kind of no-brainer, but the arguments against building the museum in Jackson Park are complicated and arcane.

The city has a long tradition of building museums in parks, including MSI up the street from the Obama site and DuSable Museum in Washington Park. I'm sure the Obamas felt that they were just one more in this long tradition.

We all need to get off Olmsted's dick here... his designs in Chicago have already been modified in serious and substantial ways, usually with a lot less care than Williams/Tsien bring. Change and preservation do not have to be enemies.
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