The Chicago Children’s Museum claim they looked into 37 alternative sites, even though the firm doing the searching wasn’t hired until April. Something fishy: corporations like Jones Lang LaSalle don’t usually work pro bono.
Opponents of Mayor Richard Daley’s plan to build a $100 million Chicago Children’s Museum in Grant Park demanded Tuesday that the museum release three years of records to prove it seriously considered more than three dozen alternative sites.
Last week, the Children’s Museum released a list of 20 existing buildings and 17 new construction sites it says it considered for the museum’s new home in a three-year search before zeroing in on Daley’s controversial favorite.
Residents of high-rises surrounding the Daley Bicentennial Plaza site and their alderman, Brendan Reilly (42nd), responded by questioning the veracity of the list.
On Tuesday, with a city council committee vote just two days away, they turned up the heat and demanded that the museum release the records of its board meetings and meetings with the real estate consulting firm that released the list of alternative sites.
The museum’s zoning application shows that the firm, Jones Lang LaSalle, did not begin its work for the Children’s Museum until April, so it could not possibly have conducted the search for alternatives, critics say.
Opponents of the Grant Park move also said museum officials spent the past year insisting that the “only location seriously considered” was Grant Park.
“Somebody’s not telling the truth here,” said Peggy Figiel, co-founder of Save Grant Park.
Tons of back story on this if you are interested.