Saturday, May 28, 2016

Friends of the Parks

The advocacy group Friends of the Parks, has gotten a lot of flack lately for their efforts to block the building of the much ballyhooed George Lucas museum on Chicago's lakefront. They've been called an elitist organization out of touch with the needs of the city, chastised for their (in the views of some), myopic view that the lakefront is to remain forever inviolate at all costs. It has even been suggested that the organization is racist because of their perceived obstructionist stance against development and the possible opportunities that development would bring to, in the words of Mellody Hobson, the wife of George Lucas, "the black and brown children of Chicago."

I expressed the opinion in my previous post that the construction of the museum on what is now the Soldier Field parking lot would not be so horrible as the stretch between the Field Museum and McCormick Place is already loaded with institutions that intrude upon the lakefront in one form or other, so what harm would there be in one more.

I also stated that FoP is fighting a battle of principle here, and that battles of principles are worth fighting, they're just not always worth winning.

Therefore I unequivocally support Friends of the Parks' efforts to do the job spelled out in their mission statement: preserve, protect, improve and promote the use of parks and open spaces throughout the Chicago area for the enjoyment of all residents and visitors.
This is a fact the mayor, the Lucases and all the supporters of the museum need to understand. If they are truly committed to building the museum in Chicago, they need to be willing to sit down and listen to lakefront advocacy groups such as Friends of the Parks, who do in fact have legal precedent on their side, and work out a plan that will benefit all the citizens of Chicago, not just the egos of a couple of billionaires.

No comments: