The title a beautifully incisive quote from New East Side resident Eric Frost, poobah of the nascent downtown discussion board WindyChat, when asked why his kids prefer to romp in the playground of Daley Bicentennial Plaza instead of in Lakeshore East Park. I interviewed him over coffee at the Randolph Street Intelligentsia in an effort to delve deeper into the residential opposition to the Chicago Children’s Museum’s planned move from Navy Pier to Grant Park.
Of all the 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 Daley Bicentennial Plaza, agreeing with a reporter’s suggestion to ‘put the museum in a cave’ wasn’t one of them.
On Friday, I was given unfettered access to interview the administrative staff of the Chicago Children’s Museum. I wanted to learn about the museum’s civic importance, programs, and reputation–all things Chicago dailies have ignored in their ongoing coverage of the controversy surrounding the museum’s proposed move from Navy Pier to Grant Park.
So far this week, we’ve seen the Chicago Tribune and 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly go toe-to-toe with Mayor Daley and a prominent Pritzker over the Chicago Children’s Museum’s proposed move to the ‘forever free and clear’ Grant Park. Whoever is left standing in the end, no one is coming out of this mess untarnished.
Today, was a litmus test for 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly. He failed. So much for aldermanic privilege. Mayor Daley may get the Chicago Children’s Museum moved to Grant Park after all.
I don’t have an answer to the question of whether the Chicago Children’s Museum should be allowed to build a new home for itself in the Daley Bicentennial Plaza section of Grant Park. But I do think the possibility deserves to be debated and not cut off at the knees as it seems the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune would have it.