To the Editor:
The Nichols Park Advisory Council voted at its March meeting to announce our enthusiastic support for the proposal to site the Obama Presidential Library on the South Side of Chicago, but also to express our definitive opposition to the use of any park land for this project.
We believe building the library on the South Side would bring economic development, jobs and educational benefits to the area, no matter which piece of land is used. However, parks are not vacant space waiting to be developed. They are a finite commodity, all too rare in a big, concrete and glass city. Parks are hard-won public areas of enormous worth, which need our protection if they are to survive.
The idea of using any public park for the library disavows the intrinsic value of open space; puts all parks in jeopardy of classification as ‘land banks;”’ denigrates the historic value of both Washington and Jackson Parks; and would result in the destruction of irreplaceable, 150 year-old trees which are every bit as valuable as any man-made artifact.
We sincerely hope the Obama Presidential Library will “come home” to the South Side of Chicago, where there is other land available. There is no need to build this new monument upon the ruins of another.
Nichols Park Advisory Council