I grew queasy at the prophetic vision of Jackson Park that Jerry Levy expressed in his panegyric to the proposed Obama Presidential Center in the Jan. 24 issue of the Herald. For one thing, he talks about it like it’s a done deal, when in fact it is extremely controversial and, unless Mr. Levy knows something the rest of us don’t, we may still be able to stop it from being built in the park.
I’d like to see it elsewhere nearby, maybe on 63rd Street with a rebuilt Green Line El as part of the package if the neighbors are OK with all that, but I am worried about our having to pay for it with tax dollars that our schools need more.
Apart from his lack of appreciation for the beauty and historic importance of Cornell Drive, which he wants to close off, Mr. Levy defends the destruction of trees and fish on the Wooded Island, claiming this “restoration” has increased foot traffic and therefore safety. Does he have any data to back that up?
Halfway through his letter I felt like telling him to hop on the bus and go to Millennium Park if he’s so averse to functioning roads and to quiet nature sanctuaries.
As for his preachy and fatuous assertion that “the views of the Obama Presidential Center to the west … will be a great inspiration for all South Siders to boast about our being the home of a two-term President,” give me a break. Who is Levy to speak for the political views of the entire South Side, and to tell us what inspires us?
A museum on Stony Island dedicated to Malcolm X and his legacy would inspire Me, but absent that I’ll be hugely inspired if we can just manage to preserve our park by putting the Obama Presidential Center somewhere that makes sense.