Arlene Jones makes the case for the West Side. I always assumed the Library would go to Hyde Park on all of that land U of C owns around Washington Park. Now I think the whole think is lost to Hawaii, but Arlene’s right here, and just getting folks organized to lobby for the Library would do the West Side some good.
Why the Brach site? Well, as the first African-American president, his library and museum will be a drawing card for tourists, researchers, students, teachers, historians and more. The Brach site is accessible by both CTA and Metra rail lines. It has a railroad line behind it that can linked to both Midway and O'Hare airports. It has the land mass needed for the parking of hundreds of cars and tour buses. Plus it is in the 7th Congressional District represented by Congressman Danny K. Davis who supported President Obama for senator and president when the other two congressmen were slow to get on board (Obama once ran against Bobby Rush, and, initially, there was no love lost between the Jackson family and Obama).
The West Side is in dire need of an economic engine to revitalize this side of town with jobs, hotels, shopping centers, and other opportunities. I think it would be an interesting, rewarding and fulfilling challenge to put us in the position of marketing ourselves in an attempt to lure the presidential library here. It would mean cleaning up our act - literally and physically.