(Photo: Alderman Brendan Reilly, a man willing to get to the bottom of the Second City.)
Of all things I thought downtown’s 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly would offer as a compromise in the ongoing controversy over the Chicago Children’s Museum’s proposed move from Navy Pier to Grant Park–especially after publicly calling out Mayor Daley on the issue–the last thing I expected was for him to agree with a reporter’s suggestion to stick the museum in a cave. Underground completely. Nothing sticking up in Daley Bicentennial Plaza except, perhaps, for a periscope and an enigmatic staircase leading down to the nether reaches of the Second City.
At first, I agreed with Chicagoist’s take on the idea: ridiculous. But the more I’ve thought about it, the more sense I can see in Reilly’s spelunking strategy. Who knows, the Chicago Children’s Museum might just set a precedent. Out of sight is, after all, out of mind. So in that mindset, I offer ten more things Alderman Reilly might want to consider sticking in a cave:
10. The CPS: Might as well put the Chicago Public School district down there. Saves the little kiddies from having to rappel down to get to the museum, don’t ya know?
9. The 42nd Ward Website: Seriously, the campaign’s long over. So why is there more useful content on Burt Natarus’ old website than on Reilly’s?
8. His Decision to Call Out Mayor Daley: Let’s do the math. Mayor Daley, 18 years in office. Brendan Reilly, 18 weeks in office. Whom do you think has the upper hand there?
7. Navy Pier: Just because I’m tired of giving clueless suburbanites directions.
6. Lois Wille: Author of the civic bible of lakefront preservation, Forever Open, Clear, and Free, and a museum supporter, to stop her pesky nagging when her words are used against her.
5. Burt Natarus: Because these days he’s batty enough to be in a cave, anyway.
4. Bob Fioretti’s Hairpiece: Still fluttering in downtown’s neighboring 2nd Ward since the day the man-who-would-be-Alderman begged for a piece of my birthday cake.
3. Macy’s: For obvious reasons.
2. The Second City Greens: Who, for the first time ever, will have a 42nd Ward committeeperson on the ballot in the primary.
And the number one thing Alderman Reilly might want to stick in a cave…
1. Mayor Daley: If only he could. Because after publicly challenging Chicago’s benevolent ruler, that’s about the only way the freshman Alderman will have any peace for the rest of his term.
No word yet on the exact location of the cave Reilly had in mind, but you can bet they already have an opposition petition going on the New Eastside….
Categories: Chicago Children's Museum LIFE Politics
Michael Thaddeus Doyle
I'm a NYC-native, Latino, Jew-by-choice, hardcore WDW fan in Chicago with an Irish last name. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I do nonprofit development. I've written this blog since 2005. Believe in the world you want to live in.
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Friends of the Park opposes current design
“Friends of the Parks has reviewed three museum proposals for a site in Daley Bicentennial Plaza and concluded that even after revisions, the latest design for a “20-foot-high, 3,800-square-foot glass entryway remains a building structure and does not conform” to court decisions governing what can be built in the park, the group said in a statement.”
“However, she said there’s no legal impediment to a building below ground.”
So do you interpret that as meaning Friends of the Park want children in a cave? hehe
Still, you are re-intrepreting his words and meaning for your own amusement or other purpose.
It is the Children’s Museum’s designs which keep burrowing deeper underground to evade the legal covenants that make the reporter bring up the question as to what would be possible…
Again, I wasn’t there, but I don’t think it was that bad a question nor was there anything wrong with his reponse. Makes for a funny picture however 🙂
Sexual Perversity in (Downtown) Chicago
(Photo: Found in April at the Morton Arboretum. Best. Signpost. Ever.) Every now and then in my downtown Chicago life, I overhear something so ridiculous (yes, even more ridiculous than a Children’s Museum in a cave), that I wonder…
I did read that. My whole point: when you’re an Alderman and a reporter (or anyone else) suggests something stupid to you in a forum where you are about to be quoted, it’s generally not a good idea to say, “Yeah, I’d consider that.” That Ald. Reilly said he would even consider it at the same time calling it “programming in a cave” suggests to me a couple of things:
1. That he really wouldn’t consider the idea since in the next breath he denigrates it; and
2. That, perhaps, he really has no idea what kind of a compromise he might accept–if any.
While we’re on the subject, I found the Alderman’s stunt–giving out copies of Lois Wille’s “Forever Open, Clear, and Free” at this week’s City Council meeting, a bit ironic. As I recently told the Children’s Museum, if you want your audience to get your argument, the last thing you want to do is, ahem, throw the book at them. I’m not at all surprised that several of his colleagues left the tomes on their desks when they left.
What I wonder most of all, though, is whether Reilly had ever read the book or schooled himself on lakefront preservation issues before he ran for 42nd Ward Alderman. I would hope so, given this is the Ward where Grant Park lies. However, I very strongly doubt it.
Did you catch this in the article – from paragraphs #2 and #4. “When a reporter suggested the idea, Reilly agreed to consider it, even though he had trouble believing that the Children’s Museum would “want all of their programming to essentially be in a cave.”
“.. the alderman maintained that Navy Pier, Northerly Island and the museum campus are far better choices.”
I have not seen the college students roaming around the New Eastside trying to gather signatures in support of moving the Children’s Museum to Daley Bi Plaza lately…but no doubt they will be back if the Children’s Museum feels like they would like to misrepresent the local resident’s views again.
I’d add Richard Ward to the cave, the fearless head of the NEAR neighborhood organization who defines museum by whether it appears in Chicago’s yellow pages.