Category Archives: museum

>REACT: Better place for Chicago Children’s Museum

>Mayor Daley and Gigi Pritzker have done a great disservice to Chicago by falsely accusing opponents to their proposed Grant Park site for the Chicago Children’s Museum of being motivated by racism. Using concocted racism as a straw man, they have promoted what they feign to oppose. The location they have selected is simply a bad idea. It places the kids in the most congested location in Chicago, and is a significant intrusion into the limited open space at the north end of Grant Park. The Daley-Pritzker site already serves the children (of all ethnicities) through the Richard J. Daley park house. The wrongness of the site and the accusations are evident in the overwhelming indignant public response.

Now having cursed the darkness, let us light a candle. I have an idea.

Why not put the Museum in the area around Michigan Avenue and Roosevelt Road? This would bring it closer to the “museum campus,” and to an area targeted for substantial development in the coming years. It already has a significant residential community (and more to come), and has excellent transportation routes – surface, el and train. This would bring the venue closer to three significant minority populations, Black Hispanic and Asian – and take it out of the center of the Loop congestion.

In this south-end location, the Museum also would function like a second park house, serving the children of the south and southwest sides, just as the Daley facility serves the north side. Even the modest use of Grant Park land would be less intrusive. That corner of Grant Park is currently under utilized.

How about two campuses? Actually, the Navy Pier location is a good one. The south Loop site can be a second location. After all, we are a very big city, with lots of kids — and Gigi’s family has a lot of money.

One of the mayor’s strengths is to fix problems, not create them. It is very possible that the Daley-Pritzker combo can force their will on the City Council. However, they cannot win the approval or respect of the good citizens of Chicago, who know a bad idea when they see one. On the other hand, the mayor can teach the children of Chciago a great lesson – that public opinion does matter. So far, the mayor has only tripped. Let’s hope he does not totally fall down on this one.