The Tribune editorial page wrapped up it series today exploring options besides Grant Park for the Children’s Museum to consider for a new facility, ending with . . . staying on Navy Pier.
“Why are donors, patrons and officials of the Chicago Children’s Museum walking away from Navy Pier – the Midwest’s top leisure destination, with 8.6 million visitors a year?” the Trib editorial board asks. “[Museum president Jennifer] Farrington told the Plan Commission that, six years ago, the museum began pursuing expansion at Navy Pier. Tribune editorial board interviews and records of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, a.k.a. McPier, suggest that nothing other than collisions of difficult personalities ultimately quashed that superb notion.
“The museum presented McPier’s board with a gorgeous architectural model for expansion – but also made a play for financing from McPier. Then a stubborn McPier official essentially refused to work with the museum’s representatives. One player sadly recalls the expansion plan drowning in ‘a perfect storm’ of acrimony.”
1. Let’s see those plans!
2. Why is it not surprising to learn that even back then the museum “made a play for financing from McPier” – you know, tax dollars – just like it would become eligible for city subsidies should it locate in Grant Park?
3. Name that McPier official! Let’s find out if he – or she – should be commended or chastised.
Elsewhere in its editorial, the editorial board says it calls the Chicago Plan Commission every day to get the list of sites the museum says it has considered – and which Farrington has promised to provide. Unsurprisingly, no list has been forthcoming.