I am referring of course to Barack Obama’s proposed Presidential library.
I think that his presidential complex would rip the heart out of one of Fredrick Law Olmstead’s most significant works, and the Federal Highway Administration’s review of the project has determined that it would diminish the integrity of the park.
Here’s hoping that this, along with the fact that Obama crony Rahm Emanuel is no longer mayor, will result in some much need accountability on this project.
There is also the matter that the Obama Foundation has refused to even consider a community benefits agreement, which would provide guarantees for the local residents regarding jobs and affordable housing:
Construction of the $500 million Obama Presidential Center will have an “adverse impact” on historic Jackson Park that must be mitigated, a federal review has concluded.
In a report triggered by Jackson Park’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places, the Federal Highway Administration homed in on the negative impact the four-building complex would have on the majestic Midway Plaisance and the Jackson Park Historic Landscape District.
The project would diminish the “the historic property’s overall integrity by altering historic, internal spatial divisions that were designed as a single entity” by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the FHA concluded.
It also concludes the “size and scale of new buildings” would “diminish the intended prominence of the Museum of Science and Industry building and alter the overall composition and design intent of balancing park scenery with specific built areas.”
The finding puts pressure on the Obama Foundation to find a way to “resolve adverse effects” and turns up the heat on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to order the foundation to make those changes.
“The Obama Foundation has yet to show any interest in compromising on any of this. It may take [Lightfoot] to bring them to the table,” said Margaret Schmid, co-president of Jackson Park Watch.
“It means there are lots of new obstacles facing this proposal. A big question is, does Chicago want to go on record as having allowed a project that has major adverse impacts on this important historic park or can the project be redesigned to be compatible with this historic landscape?”
It’s not a surprise that the Obama Foundation is refusing to do anything for the poor and minority residents of the neighborhood, that was pretty much the Obama administration’s policy for or the poor and minority residents of the country.
They were too busy, “Foaming the runway,” for the big banks.