Correcting the record on Jackson Park tour


Editor’s Note: An article in the Herald’s Aug. 14 edition contained several errors. The Herald acknowledges the errors and apologizes for them. Louise McCurry, who was mentioned prominently in the article, has written the letter below to correct the errors.

To the Editor:

I would like to correct misinformation published in the Aug. 14 Herald article, ‘A Quiet tour of Jackson Park turns into a debate over the merits of OPC.”

  1. The tour was not just a walking tour to see the sites; it was advertised as a tour to show how the OPC would endanger Jackson Park and its historic status. That is what the individuals on the tour told me. Ward Miller began the tour by describing his placement of Jackson Park on his list of most endangered sites because of the proposed Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park and its harmful effects on the park.
  2. It was stated that the MSI building was constructed out of temporary materials. Actually, the MSI was the only Fair building built of permanent materials. The insurers of the borrowed paintings and art displayed inside required that it to protect their art investments.
  3. I did not say that there was no merit in rebuilding the Darrow Bridge as quoted in the article. Actually, I said just the opposite. I explained that JPAC had initiated the Darrow Bridge rebuilding project and partnered with CDOT to get the current rebuilding plans realized. Rebuilding the Darrow Bridge has been a JPAC priority for the past 10 years. That said, the bridge does remain closed pending the release of federal funding.
  4. I did not nor would I ever say that “community members should reap the benefits of their community and view the OPC plan as a means to creating those opportunities.”  The OPC is going to benefit the entire South Side with economic and social reinvestment benefitting all.
  5. I did not “express my concern for the changes to the landscape that OPC construction might bring.” Actually, I described how positive and beneficial the changes would be.
  6. Mary Anton did not say that the recent improvements to the Japanese Garden benefitted Japanese connections more than community members. What she actually said was that Jackson Park and its park user community were recent beneficiaries of grant support from the Japanese government to fund improvements.
  7. Since Ward Miller, the tour guide, and I have known each other for years and I have taken him on my tour of Jackson Park, as the tour progressed he was comfortable with asking me for park facts that augmented his content.

I would have appreciated if the reporter had asked me if this information she attributed to me was correct before she printed it. In the coming months I expect both Mary and I will be asked to explain the inaccurate representations of our statements, and I have already had the occasion to have to do so.  I appreciate the opportunity to set the record straight and the offer of the Herald to modify the online article which will appear in its archives.


Louise McCurry