Fioretti to Rahm: No Public Land for Obama Library

Mayoral candidate Bob Fioretti likes the idea of bringing the Barack Obama Presidential Library to Chicago somehow. 

But he's no fan of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's tactics to secure the space for the building. 

The presidential library bids from both University of Chicago and the University of Illinois Chicago ran into trouble in January after the foundation that's handling the applications noted that none of the bids were attached to an actual parcel of land. 

A source close to the foundation told the Sun-Times last week that the University of Chicago's proposal was not solid because the university does not own or have definite plans to acquire any of the sites they proposed. In contrast, Columbia University in York, which is another candidate, already owns the sites they proposed.

Emanuel proposed to rectify that shortcoming by taking over land in either Washington Park or Jackson Park. A Chicago Park District spokeswoman said Monday there will be public hearings next week regarding two South Side parks that are part of the University of Chicago's library proposal.

But Fioretti says that taking over public land should not be an option for the Obama Library or for the proposed George Lucas Museum.  

"Our public spaces are not the playgrounds for museums for billionaires or libraries, no matter how much they mean.  There is no excuse for how this administration has bungled this situation.  The fact that it might cause us to lose the Obama Library should be a reminder of how this Administration works with the community and what it means by 'transparency.'"

Contact Us