Children's Museum's Day In Court

Did city act illegally?

The contentious battle over placing the Chicago Children's Museum in Grant Park was always headed to the courts.

A year ago, the Tribune said in an editorial that "The courts are where this debate now goes, and that's good. If the current justices want to conserve not only Grant Park but legal paper as well, they could simply ask what part of "'orever open, clear and free' the mayor and aldermen of Chicago cannot understand."

Well, today is the day we may find out.

A court ruling is expected in a lawsuit that alleges, in the words of the Chicago Journal, that  "the city acted illegally in every phase of the zoning process" in its museum plans.

"A ruling in favor of the plaintiffs could force the museum start from scratch, including a new draft of its plans," the Journal reports. "The current plan, approved by City Council June 11 last year, is the fifth revision."

A ruling against the city would also enrage the mayor - but probably wouldn't impede him from moving forward.

A ruling in the city's favor would be another blow to neighborhood residents, lakefront preservationists, and other activists like those who comprise Save Grant Park.

The legal arguments were previewed by the Tribune in "Duel at Grant Park."

But whatever happens today is not the end.

"Hearings are scheduled for May 12 in [another] suit, which seeks to invalidate the Plan Commission’s decision," the Journal reports.

The battle has really just begun.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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