Editorial for 1/17/18

Congratulations Save the Midway!

Score one for the park protestors. In this case the winner is the “Save the Midway” campaign group.

The Obama Foundation, in the midst of the public arguments over using park land for the Obama Presidential Center, came up with the idea of building their parking garage at the east end of the Midway. They proposed putting a two-story garage on the west side of Stony Island at the Midway beginning.

They tried to sell it by proposing to put a grass berm all the way up the two-story structure and a playground and picnic area on top next to the Metra railroad to the west.

We can mitigate the D minus they get for that approach by giving them some credit for now putting the parking underground under the Center. We can guess that the above ground thought was all based on costs. An underground garage is a much more expensive thing to do than an above ground garage. But in the context of the estimated $350 million cost for the Presidential Center it did not seem worth the bad “vibes” sent out to the community.

With all the discussion of what will happen to historic Jackson Park, it is hard to understand how the Foundation would miss recognizing the bad note the garage proposal would send.