The glorious feeling of winning an architectural competition may quickly diminish after the realization that the achievement was only the beginning of the battle.
Officials have confirmed that Krueck + Sexton’s winning competition entry for the new home of the Chicago Children’s Museum has been removed from the redevelopment plan of the Richard J. Daley Bicentennial Plaza on the northeast corner of Grant Park.
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Despite arguments concerning the development’s violation of century old court rulings to protect the openness of Grant Park, in 2008, the competition entry was approved by the Chicago City Council and praised by former Mayor Richard M. Daley. The LEED Gold proposal offered an innovative, low profile building that elegantly replaced a deteriorating underground parking garage.
Following the controversial approval, the economy collapsed, fund-raising stalled, and the newly elected Mayor Rahm Emanuel warned about his plans to reevaluate the museums proposal. Last June, rumors reported that the museum will remain at its original home on Navy Peir and its quarters would be expanded there, which were designed by Wheeler Kearns Architects. O’Neill commented, “This is sort of design on a dime.”
With the removal of the museum, the Daley Bicentennial Plaza budget dropped from more than $100 million to a little over $30 million. The council’s president, Bob O’Neill, said “It’s not a really good economy, so a capital campaign is difficult.” The non-profit organization that recently took over the Navy Pier’s museum is strongly focused on keeping it at its current location.
Bob O’Neill stated, “I can tell you that the Children’s Museum has dropped out of this project.”
Krueck + Sexton Architects also designed the Crown Fountain in Millennium Park.