Many of you have heard by now that the Children’s Museum is attempting to move into Grant Park at a leased land rate of $1 per year for the next 99 years. The museum is planned at over 100,000 square feet on tax-payer owned land, and admission will be charged to enter the museum. Grant Park has been protected from privatization by the “Burnham Plan” for over 172 years and is owned by the City. Hence, it is tax-payer owned land. If this plan goes through, you have paid to let a private organization have the land virtually rent-free.
I spent my childhood here in Chicago. In the time between then and now I’ve spent a lot of time in other major metropolitan cities and lived in Los Angeles most of my life until moving here and calling Chicago home for over a decade. It is important to appreciate here what most major cities do not have – beautiful parks in an urban area. I hope all of you appreciate what we have, and if you oppose the privatization of part of Grant Park, please visit www.savegrantpark.org where you can sign the petition opposing the move or find out other ways in which you can help preserve Grant Park.
The proposed plan was approved by the Planning Commission earlier in the month, but the plan still needs Zoning approval before it can be fully executed. This is currently scheduled for review at the City Council meeting to be held on June 5, 2008. It should be noted that should the plan be approved, the City is going to be sued based on the aforementioned privatization of public, protected land. This will mean more tax dollars spent to protect what is already protected. For more info you can visit my blog, Relaxocat Says.