To the Editor:
May I add my sharp opposition to the now seemingly inevitable placement of the Obama Presidential Library on a large slice of diverted public park space in either Washington or Jackson parks. The Park District is gravely remiss in its giveaway of dedicated public open land to this project, just as they were in their readiness to turn over a large chunk of Washington Park for the building of the huge Olympics stadium, fortunately never done.
Do readers realize that 20 acres is the equivalent of two full Chicago city blocks? That’s enough for a college campus! For what earthly reason does the library require such a generous space? The ideal proposal that the Herald and all concerned citizens should be demanding is the eleven available acres of private vacant land at the west edge of Washington Park near Garfield Boulevard, fully sufficient to meet library needs. It would be a great enhancement for the community both economically and aesthetically, and provide a beautiful “adjunct” of sorts to Washington Park. No parkland would be sacrificed. The two compatible facilities could be joined with a pedestrian bridge as was suggested in a recent letter. We must not allow dedicated public open land to be eroded by diversionary uses!
Charles G. Staples