Dear editor:

One never discussed yet compelling community issue just jumped out into the open when a local resident discrimination complaint was highlighted in this recent Herald story.

Ling said she first noticed the disparities in her community with the announcement of the Obama Presidential Center. Why are they building like the largest, million dollar establishment building right across the street from this high school? We got rats, we got roaches,” she said." Others have noted: "HP High is a costly facility, needs a lot of work. You'll see a crumbling Chicago Public HS right across the street from this OPC."

I find it curious that this spontaneous critical comment, much less the refusal of the rich Obama Foundation to even consider or sign a community benefits agreement, has been so totally ignored by all the sycophantic puppet supporters of clearcutting 1000 mature trees to create space to build a 22-story, 235-foot-tall OPC in historic Jackson Park. How can a proposed environmental and historic public park disaster in the making be considered a way to "honor" the legacy of the former president, not a surefire way to besmirch it forever?

Herb Caplan, president, Protect Our Parks

(4) comments

Ross Petersen

There are a number of disparities between Parks North and South, including their budgets. Consider the attention, from local residents, to the Piping Plovers who have nested on Montrose beach these last two years. They are advocating for enlarging that site. Meanwhile, we South siders are seeing our Park developed, with a mid-rise tower and four lower buildings - on twenty acres of our Park. No make-up land will be provided. We need to stand up, for our environment, for our Parks.

This is a huge, unsightly building. The design is grandiose, overbearing. It will loom large, with its mysterious lettering adding little. I think it is trying to recall the Hancock center, with its sloping sides. It doesn't work.


Perhaps someone should address this specific question plus a 100 more similar inquiries directly to the Obama's. Btw, don't hold your breath waiting for any straight forward acceptable answers.

Ray Pickens

jaye els

Our best course of action is to try to shame the Obama family/foundation to come back to the Hyde Park South Side community and invest some of their wealth, personal time and effort to helping the community. Obama's mansion on Greenwood Ave has set vacant for ~ 12 years now as the Obamas have dined and dashed and have chosen to live in exclusive Washington DC diplomat neighborhood and have just closed on a $13 million estate on Martha's Vineyard. These places where the Obamas chose to live have basically no 0% of poor or working class Black Americans or any poor people of any kind. We should try to shame the Obamas to come back to our/their community and invest in the community. I propose simply re-named our Jackson Park "Obama" park and encourage the Obamas to contact some of their (richest men and women in the world!) Social Media, Internet shopping oligarchs to contribute ~ 1% of their personal wealth to make "Obama" Park one of The best Chicago public parks named after American presidents like (Abraham) Lincoln Park, or (Ulysses) Grant Park. Our Jackson Park isn't named after Jessie Jackson, it's named after Andrew Jackson who was both a slave owner and an Indian fighter. Since we're tearing down statues of Christopher Columbus and Stephen Douglas, how about renaming our Jackson Park to Obama Park and thus honoring our recent Black African American president and dishonoring a White Slaveholding native American Indian killer? This seems like a very practical, "progressive" suggestion and we Park Lovers would get to keep our park, our trees our birds (the Canadian Geese that poop everywhere can go).

Ross Petersen

I Agree, the Park should be changed to Obama Park, in Honor of him being the first Black President. As far as the OPC is concerned, that belongs elsewhere, Not inside this beautiful old Park, where birds will collide with it. It is not a harmonious design, it stands out, in contrast with the natural design of the Park. Obama has houses in D.C., on Martha's Vineyard. With the head of his foundation, they just got a new estate, in Hawaii. Safe to Say, Obama has moved on. Only this patronage Boondoggle will remain to remind us. This is one very unsightly, very ugly building. Contributions for construction are tax deductible, so it's basically built at the taxpayer's expense. Wait until you see the bill for road widening projects, including Lake Shore Drive, Hayes, Stony Island. Wait until you see the bill for environmental remediation.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.