Chicago Children’s Museum

This page on Richard Ward’s web site has a lot of very good arguments against moving the Children’s Museum next to the New Eastside neighborhood in Grant Park.

I wonder if the Children’s Museum’s management expected such vocal and organized opposition to the proposed move.

I like some of the comments particularly –
“This business is on the first floor of the 400 building with large glass windows. Just recently, a criminal broke the glass, broke in, and stole computers and other valuables. Our neighborhood is starting to become a target for criminals.”

“In addition to the empty snack bags, bottles and things you would expect, we have also had to throw away dirty diapers, cigarette butts, alcohol bottles and other disgusting things that are not appropriate to mention on a public website (if you would like to know, ask any mom who has cleaned up the playground).”

“the traffic in our neighborhood has become more dangerous. The posted speed limit is 20 mph. Most cars travel down Randolph at 30 to 40 mph.” (I was in a taxi just yesterday that was doing near fifty coming up to the stop sign on Upper Randolph across from Buckingham Plaza. My whole family including my wife’s Dad and step-mom were in the car).

Anyway, I don’t really know what all Daley Bi has to offer and we definitely don’t take advantage of all of it, but my daughter goes to the Moms, Pops, and Tots classes on Tues and Thurs mornings, we take turns taking her, it’s either the baby-sitter, my wife, her Dad, and a couple times me who goes with her. Search the Chicago Park District web site. I rarely see any other Pops, they should just call it Nannies and Tots :-) . But it’s definitely good for the kids, they see each other and play, interact, share toys (or not), and generally grow as small human beings. I wish it was every day, my daughter thrives on interaction with new people.

That said, we take her to the Children’s Museum a lot, it’s currently at Navy Pier. We have a membership and it’s not far, just across the Chicago River bridge. She loves the Children’s Museum but as a little person she’s a little afraid and vulnerable from the big kids. It seems like they routinely bus kids in who swamp the baby area with no regard to the signs “non-walkers only” and use the padded area as a landing place for jumps. Woah horsey!

Anyway, extrapolate that to the area surrounding, taxi’s doing 50 mph and all the kids launching themselves around the already crowded playground next to Daley Bi and you have a situation not so conducive to “tranquil city life” (oxymoron?).

When my wife and I were considering a place to live, we were just moving back into the city. We had been house-sitting / paying the mortgage for my parents who had just retired and bought a boat to live on for a year. ( I’d recommend for any adventurous person to do it, it’s definitely affordable if you have kids to pick up the mortgage for a bit ).

We looked at several places, in fact the New Eastside is the first place we looked. We decided to be in this neighborhood separated slightly from all the hub bub of the city because of the baby, the parks surrounding are nice.

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