Is this the latest land grab, or am I falling behind?
For our out-of-state visitors, the basics, courtesy of Preservation Chicago:
The Chicago Children's Museum, currently located at Navy Pier, wants to expand and build a new 100,000 sq. ft. structure (mostly underground) in Grant Park (east of Millennium Park). Not only is this illegal according to our Lakefront Protection Ordinance, currently the Children's Museum does not have the funding and therefore our taxpayer dollars may be helping to make up the difference! This is the only location they will consider even though Alderman Brendan Reilly (42 ward) has suggested 24 viable and alternative sites for their project!Legality-schmegality. Here's what the king mayor had to say about it, according to Dan Mihalopoulos at Chicago Tribune's Clout Street:
Daley said he did not fear that a lawsuit would derail the museum project, which goes before his hand-picked Plan Commission on Thursday. The mayor’s remarks came at a press conference on Northerly Island. Daley bulldozed the airport there to create parkland.Fran Spielman (Sun Times) highlights the irony of the press conference location:
“Everything’s gonna be tied up in court. Just think, if everything you did you have to worry about lawyers. This city, this would have never been built. This -- Meigs Field would have never been changed if you had to worry about lawyers. I don’t know why everybody is always worried about lawyers. I mean, this is ridiculous. You can never function at all, both in the public and private sectors, if you’re worried about lawyers. You can never make a decision.”
The mayor made that statement last week while standing in a building that once served as the passenger terminal at Meigs Field. It was a fitting locale. The midnight destruction of Meigs in March 2003 -- by sending in a fleet of bulldozers to carve giant X's into the airport's only runway -- remains the most glaring example of Daley's "end justifies the means" style of government. (Chicago Sun Times, "Daley power plays nothing new", May 18, 2008.)Does the mayor really have this antipathy for lawyers? What about the ones that are suing Ebay and StubHub for the city? After all, he is a lawyer. Maybe he didn't mean to say that. Maybe "lawyers" is Daleyspeak for "the law". For example (although I think it may be functionally true) he did not say this:
Everything’s gonna be tied up in court. Just think, if everything you did you have to worry about the law. This city, this would have never been built. This -- Meigs Field would have never been changed if you had to worry about the law. I don’t know why everybody is always worried about the law . . .Yup. Some things are best left unsaid.
Jerry Agar's Blog has list of aldermen and where they presently stand (or not).