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  #41  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2015, 1:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
^U of C doesn't have eminent domain authority. They can't just pick some part of the city and tell the current landowners to get out.
The U of C bid proposes/presumes using city park land for the library.

Last edited by wrab; Jan 1, 2015 at 4:41 PM.
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  #42  
Old Posted Jan 2, 2015, 7:03 AM
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^^ ^ This really calls into question U of C's whole strategy in terms of their approach to winning this thing as well. I mean, I still think they'll probably get it in the end, but why give Columbia this kind of opening (by being so secretive, not having the land in question lined-up with their ducks in a row, and having it be on public parkland)?? It doesn't exactly reflect well on them in general .......
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  #43  
Old Posted Jan 2, 2015, 11:11 PM
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Is there some faulty reporting going on or am I misunderstanding something. I don't know what the MLK/Washington Park site would involve the park district at all. And as far as I remember seeing a map a few weeks ago in the Tribune the university owns nearly everything other then a small parcel from a holdout? I don't know why logistically it would be hard to develop unless if Obama wants some portion of the park across the street. Which would be odd to me.

But then Lynn Sweet in her article claimed that the park district would be involved in the Washington Park site as well. Don't know if she is just uninformed or if there some truth to what she wrote.

Or maybe for whatever reasons that site just isn't as attractive to the Obama as the other southside sites involved with the Park District. To me the Washington Park site would seem a slam dunk in terms of logistics, symbolism, and potential but maybe the Obamas have visions of being on the lake or inside a park?
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  #44  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2015, 12:22 AM
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I think there are definitely some wires crossed here as well. I've now seen two or three articles about this hullabaloo and they all have multiple conflicts with one another.

I think the confusion may be stemming from the fact that some portion of that land at Garfield and MLK across from Washington Park is actually owned by the Park District and not the University. This all may be arising from a relatively minor logistical request from the foundation that was picked up on by local news outlets who saw "Obama library" and "Park district land" and figured "we've got another Lucas museum Friends of the Parks drama on our hands!" Does anyone know if there is a map of random lots owned by the Park district in that area?
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  #45  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2015, 4:02 PM
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http://chicago.suntimes.com/politics...ntial-library/

Emanuel poised to announce plans for land acquisition for presidential library


Posted: 01/02/2015, 08:00pm | Lynn Sweet

WASHINGTON — The Friends of the Parks is cranking up a drive to force disclosure of the University of Chicago’s secret proposals to use Chicago Park District lands for Barack Obama’s presidential library and museum — but the push may be moot as Mayor Rahm Emanuel is poised to seize control and announce a public process for land acquisition in the coming days, I’ve learned.

With both the U of C and the University of Illinois-Chicago bids for the facility in trouble with the Barack Obama Foundation, City Hall — not the U of C — will now be in charge when it comes to getting rights to the sites, I am told.

I’ve also learned that the South Shore Cultural Center is fading as an active U of C option.

...
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  #46  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2015, 9:40 PM
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Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post
I think the confusion may be stemming from the fact that some portion of that land at Garfield and MLK across from Washington Park is actually owned by the Park District and not the University. This all may be arising from a relatively minor logistical request from the foundation that was picked up on by local news outlets who saw "Obama library" and "Park district land" and figured "we've got another Lucas museum Friends of the Parks drama on our hands!" Does anyone know if there is a map of random lots owned by the Park district in that area?
DNAinfo had an article with a map of the area. http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20141...ary-for-s-side

I am still very concerned that they are trying to drop this thing in the meadow.
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  #47  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2015, 10:30 PM
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DNA info has a new article up: http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20150...ma-library-bid

Quote:
A university spokesman this week declined to specify the boundaries of the proposed site, but said it included land owned by the university in the Washington Park neighborhood, which a December analysis by DNAinfo Chicago revealed to be 26 parcels acquired for $18.3 million over the last six years.

The site also includes a slice of park land in the neighborhood's namesake park, but the spokesman declined to say which part of the park would be used.
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  #48  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2015, 11:14 PM
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The city owns virtually the entire 5300 block of S Prairie (both sides), and the CTA owns almost the entire block their station sits on, both Calumet and Prairie. Then U of C owns the 5400 block of S Calumet and S King Drive. If you expanded that DNAinfo map to the north and west, it would still be a sea of green and red with only a sprinkling of blue private owner holdouts.

There's so much available land here, even without using any of Washington Park. I just don't understand why there is a Park District issue at all. This isn't even like Lucas Museum where by all accounts the benefactor is demanding a parkland site... Obama's legacy is being enmeshed with communities, not set apart from them on a pedestal. Everything can be accommodated in the neighborhood and not in the park, even parking which can be spread out over a handful of lots.

This is an architectural question, but can anyone think of a large institutional building that activates its surroundings, instead of pulling back behind lawns, hedges, or parking lots?
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  #49  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2015, 5:48 AM
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This is an architectural question, but can anyone think of a large institutional building that activates its surroundings, instead of pulling back behind lawns, hedges, or parking lots?
The Yale Center for British Art by Kahn. Chapel Street is an important commercial thoroughfare in New Haven. The building allows for storefront retail, which is "inserted" into the ground-floor "slots" of the grid. At least one of them, Atticus, a coffeehouse/bookstore, is practically an institution unto itself. The parking is kept in the rear/interior of the block. There's a decent-sized curb cut for vehicular access along High Street, so it's not ideal. But it acts sort of like a mid-block alley and is also well landscaped with some mature trees.

It's interesting, too, because across the street is the Yale University Art Gallery featuring an addition that was one of Kahn's first major commissions IIRC. I personally love it, but it's pretty stark, and, like many of Yale's buildings, sort of turns its back to the city.

Anyway, as far as well-integrated institutions go, it was the first one that came to my mind. Unfortunately, I don't know how popular Chapel was at the time of its construction, by which I mean, I'm not sure if there was already a strong retail presence there or if the Center helped create that demand, so the circumstances are potentially very different.
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  #50  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2015, 8:21 AM
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Ah, Lou Kahn... that may be one of the most urban art museums I've ever seen. Thanks for the share, I have yet to see any of his buildings in person.

I think the abandonment circumstances of Washington Park are fairly limited to a subset of American cities, so finding a successful precedent is not easy. Surely there must be something in a regenerating industrial area that offers some lessons? Sounds like a job for Rem Koolhaas.
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  #51  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2015, 4:02 PM
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One thing that isn't being discussed (at least not here) is the fact that the Obamas don't WANT to be in Chicago again. They want to be in NYC, Valerie Jarrett (in more than a couple news outlets) is not-so-secretly pushing for them to relocate permanently to NYC, the oldest daughter wants to go to school in NYC, Obama himself is prepping for a post-Presidential job at the UN, so all signs are pointing to NYC for his Presidential Library, considering he has publicly stated they want to live wherever their oldest goes to college, and which is also where they want their library to be.

One or both of the Chicago library bids could have been absolutely flawless, and they will still lose to Columbia/NYC and their bid because it's just where the Obamas want to be, it's (unfortunately) that simple. I wouldn't be surprised if all of the double-talk, obfuscation and general 'huh??' manufactured confusion about Chicago's two 'flawed' library bids were nothing more than political ruse to soften the blow of not having the library in 'Obama's hometown'.
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  #52  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2015, 7:52 PM
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Originally Posted by sentinel View Post
One thing that isn't being discussed (at least not here) is the fact that the Obamas don't WANT to be in Chicago again. They want to be in NYC, Valerie Jarrett (in more than a couple news outlets) is not-so-secretly pushing for them to relocate permanently to NYC, the oldest daughter wants to go to school in NYC, Obama himself is prepping for a post-Presidential job at the UN, so all signs are pointing to NYC for his Presidential Library, considering he has publicly stated they want to live wherever their oldest goes to college, and which is also where they want their library to be.

One or both of the Chicago library bids could have been absolutely flawless, and they will still lose to Columbia/NYC and their bid because it's just where the Obamas want to be, it's (unfortunately) that simple. I wouldn't be surprised if all of the double-talk, obfuscation and general 'huh??' manufactured confusion about Chicago's two 'flawed' library bids were nothing more than political ruse to soften the blow of not having the library in 'Obama's hometown'.
I'm really starting to think just the opposite from this conjecture. Its predictable that possibly losing out to NYC strikes out at our worst insecurities as a city. The "how can we possibly compete with what NYC can offer" syndrome.

I think frankly all this talk about a Chicago bid being on the ropes was a play to give the city and university maximum leverage in order to give the foundation all it could/would be asking for. As a way to say to the public "look, our city was at real risk of losing this library to NYC. If we aren't reasonable and give the foundation approximate carte blanche control then we lose this thing. So don't be an obstructionist and let us use eminent domain or do some land transfers if need be". Didn't the city also do something similar during the Olympic bid? It also gives the appearance of taking the other bids more seriously instead of this just being a shoe in for the UofC that it likely has been all along.

What sources are these that are reporting that they will end up wherever the eldest girl will go to school? She is still a junior for crying out loud. I read that she was thinking about Stanford was just as high on her list as any school. They gonna move to San Fran if she chooses Stanford or Berkeley? Also I would be shocked if for the first few years at least President Obama doesn't rack up tens of millions on the speaking circuit. That is hard to do while having a prime role at the UN.

Even if they did move to NYC I don't see it as being a death blow for a Chicago bid. In NYC his library would be a small fish in a big pond. In Chicago his library would be a bigger fish in a smaller pond. It certainly didn't dissuade the Clinton's from putting the library back in Arkansas. It would be a real break from Presidential tradition if the Obama's were to put the library in a place with such tepid links. A mere 3 year cup of coffee (2 years studying given he was a transfer) he had in NYC.

He also would want to emphasize his organizing roots and his teaching of constitutional law at UofC I would think. Not to mention Michelle's impressive resume at the UofC. Also Obama has a known quantity in who he is dealing with as Chicago Mayor and the local political scene. He knows some of the alderman still and knows many who probably sit on the UofC's board. Not to mention his oldest and deepest pockets (the Pritzkers etc.) are here.

Also the possibility of rejuvinating a community due to the library itself is much greater then if he were to plop it down in Harlem. A legacy he would no doubt love to have asked about him in 20 years if eastern Washington Park saw a rebirth. The changes and growth would be much notable given the dilapidated condition of the neighborhood while also the immediate neighborhood would be more orientated towards the library given the immediate area would largely be built anew.
--------------------------------

Todays news.......
Quote:
http://chicago.suntimes.com/chicago-...pped-contender

Emanuel's push for Obama library — Hearings next week, South Shore park dropped as contender
Posted: 01/05/2015,

There will be two community hearings to solicit input sponsored by the Chicago Park District over the proposals, next Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Hyde Park High School and next Wednesday at noon at the Washington Park Field House.
For the city to get long term rights to the land for the library and museum, there will have to be votes of the Chicago Park District Board and the City Council........

That the foundation went public last week with its concerns is a difference between friends – that can be rectified once the city gains control of the park district land........

The foundation going public with its concerns gives Emanuel — facing a mayoral primary on Feb. 24 — political cover for seeking park land, which could be controversial. The U. of C. never disclosed its intentions to seek park acres for the library to avoid public protest..........

Last edited by nomarandlee; Jan 5, 2015 at 9:51 PM.
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  #53  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2015, 7:52 PM
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^ I don't know about this. I know the Obamas may live in NYC, but they can still build the library in the city of their roots. That's what most Presidents do. Look at the Clintons.
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  #54  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2015, 8:24 PM
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Just a thought here.....Does anyone know who the boulevard system comes under control of? Is that considered city property or park district property?

I wonder if the Obama's would want to have full control of the section of the boulevard that runs down Garfield Blvd. into the park. Because with a "campus like setting" probably spanning both sides of Garfield boulevard they may very well want to have control over the landscaping of and utilization of the boulevard itself.

Or maybe they want to have some guarantee of ownership and control of the outer western edge of Washington Park and Garfield Blvd. so that in the future if the park district ever were to let the park fall into a state of neglect or disrepair the library wouldn't be affected. I just can't imagine them wanting to fight to build a major piece on the park itself.
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  #55  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2015, 9:36 PM
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^ I don't know about this. I know the Obamas may live in NYC, but they can still build the library in the city of their roots. That's what most Presidents do. Look at the Clintons.
Of course, where the library is has nothing to do with where they happen to be living after they move out of the white house, it normally never has. I'm not even saying I care where the library is located, BUT, it's almost always in the place where they came to be who they are, where they lived, worked and got into politics for the most part or a larger city with ammenities near that place.

The entire family can move to NYC after 2016....but that fact in itself really doesn't mean anything as far as where a presidential library is located.
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Last edited by MayorOfChicago; Jan 5, 2015 at 9:49 PM.
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  #56  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2015, 11:38 PM
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Does anyone know who the boulevard system comes under control of?
The Chicago Park District ceded control of all boulevards to the city in 1959.
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  #57  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2015, 6:54 AM
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One thing that isn't being discussed (at least not here) is the fact that the Obamas don't WANT to be in Chicago again. They want to be in NYC, Valerie Jarrett (in more than a couple news outlets) is not-so-secretly pushing for them to relocate permanently to NYC, the oldest daughter wants to go to school in NYC, Obama himself is prepping for a post-Presidential job at the UN, so all signs are pointing to NYC for his Presidential Library, considering he has publicly stated they want to live wherever their oldest goes to college, and which is also where they want their library to be.
I think this is all wild speculation from literally incredible sources. I also agree with nomarandlee: the ease with which a lot of people gobble it up speaks more to the city's insecurities than anything else.

For the record, I feel pretty confident in asserting that Malia will go to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or Stanford. They are the most prestigious schools in the country and all of them will court her heavily. (They also have the resources needed to accommodate such a high profile student.) I'd be shocked if she ended up at Columbia. Also, my best friend works for the UN in a capacity that gives her access to its higher-ups. If there were any truth to his rumored interest in a position there, she would have caught wind of it. Based on the tenor of the meetings she's attended featuring him or his surrogates, I'm under the impression that he doesn't view it too favorably. Which makes sense. Though noble in aim, the UN epitomizes bureaucracy at its worst. There's a wanton disregard for financial accountability, and the internal political machinations make House of Cards look about as dramatic as student council at an elementary school.

More importantly, I don't think there's anything about the history of presidential libraries to suggest that the Obamas' post White House digs will determine or even influence its location.

Personally, I think nomarandlee is right to read between the lines. It all smacks of political strategizing to me.

Last edited by Ch.G, Ch.G; Jan 6, 2015 at 7:23 AM.
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  #58  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2015, 6:23 AM
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U of C Obama library to take chunks of either Washington or Jackson Park. I'd prefer the Washington Park option, but it's amazing with all south river development availability, that no proposal utilized this area.
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  #59  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2015, 1:21 PM
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U of C Obama library to take chunks of either Washington or Jackson Park. I'd prefer the Washington Park option, but it's amazing with all south river development availability, that no proposal utilized this area.
I've heard rumblings of that as well, specifically of it being built along 55th street. The city is planning a street-widening project along with ramp improvements at 55th and LSD..
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  #60  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2015, 2:57 PM
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The University of Chicago is proposing that the Obama presidential library be built on about 20 acres of South Side parkland, either in Washington or Jackson parks, according to the university.
***
The two sites are:

•21 acres in western Jackson Park, bounded by South Stony Island Avenue to the west, South Cornell Avenue to the east, East 60th Street to the north and East 63rd Street to the south.

•22 acres in western Washington Park and 11 acres outside of it, stretching as far west as South Prairie Avenue, and encompassing the Garfield Green Line stop. The park acreage is bounded by South Martin Luther King Drive to the west, Ellsworth Drive to the east, East Garfield Boulevard to the south and East 51st Street to the north.

Chicago Tribune story

Unbelievable. Apparently "park" is a Chicago term meaning "landscaped area where we haven't yet thought of anything to build."

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