Chicago Children's Museum
Possible Move to Grant Park's Daley Bicentennial Plaza

Do you support the current CCM conceptual plan? Multiple Selections are permitted, but only one visit.
YES, I support the CCM Plan
NO, not a proper museum location
OK, if CCM shares southern view
Depends on ice rink relocation
Prefer enclosing existing ice rink
Prefer expanding existing area
Need more information from CCM
Need study by local NEAR Board

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Chicago Children's Museum Website
Our Neighborhood Ice Skating Rink would be relocated with the initial conceptual plan of the Chicago Children's Museum.
Initial Chicago Children's Museum Conceptual Plan would increase the area for our local use from roughly 10,000 to 20,000 square feet.  These numbers are being reviewed to determine storage areas available.
However, our neighborhood Fieldhouse would face southeast towards the playground, rather than down the mile-long midway of Grant Park.
You can record your comments and opinions here and they will be forwarded to the decision makers. Please limit your entries to about 2 inches, and only one per person please. (It is requested that the person that submitted two 11-inch comments, please summarize your key points so that others can also comment.)
NOTE...this page is still under construction.
Digital pictures of the boards and slides being presented by the CCM will be obtained and added to this webpage. Also the demographics and estimate of how many of the 500,000 annual visitors would arrive on busses at the Middle Randolph entrance will be provided. Some will arrive by cab, bus, or walk. Those arriving by car will park in the underground garage adjacent to the museum. An attempt will be made to determine the projected traffic impact on the local New Eastside neighborhood.
The Children's Museum would occupy roughly this area (including the 2 levels of garage below.
The local fieldhouse would be relocated here (facing the playground)
Chicago Children’s Museum
Daley Bicentennial Plaza

Proposed Scope of Work:

Construct new 20,000 SF, 2-story field house below Randolph street level
Construct 100,000 SF, 3-story new museum below Randolph street level
Minimal disruption to surrounding vegetation and infrastructure
No disruption to existing playground and tennis courts
Proposed bus access on Middle Randolph level
All roof surfaces will be green roof terraces and park land open to the public
Demolish existing field house and existing ice-skating rink.........................................
Demolish two levels of parking below (approx. 400 spaces)
CCM in discussions with Chicago Park District to locate alternate site for ice-skating rink in Daley Bi-Centennial
CCM in discussions with Chicago Park District to locate alternate site for field house programming during construction period

New Park District field house
Magical museum for all children and families
Greater access and visibility for museum visitors
Incorporation of a new field house with joint programming
Minimal loss of parking spaces in an underutilized garage
Preliminary traffic study indicates minimal increase in vehicular traffic.......................
Most visitors will use parking garage entrance located below Randolph level
Increased revenue for Park District parking garage (currently underutilized)
Convenient access and bus drop off at Middle Randolph
Minimal traffic impact due to hours of operation (off peak)........................................
Enhanced programming and interfacing with surrounding museums
Entire structure lies below Upper Randolph, but for entry pavilion and glass atrium
All roofs are green roofs and fully accessible to public
Preserved open views
Green construction and goal of LEED certification
A destination for the bridge designed by Frank Gehry
Family amenity for area’s growing residential community

Chicago Children’s Museum has presented conceptual plans to relocate to Daley Bi-Centennial Plaza to various community and civic groups, as well as the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners.

These plans are purely conceptual in nature. 

oCCM has not hired an architect for this project
oCCM has not conducted a feasibility or due diligence study of the proposed site.
oCCM has not completed final designs for the project
oCCM has not received an approval from the Chicago Park District to proceed with this project.
oCCM continues to meet with community and civic groups to seek input from the valued members of the community.

From :  Breelyn Pete <>
Sent :  Monday, February 13, 2006 11:18 AM
To :  "Richard Ward" <>
CC :  <>, <>, <>


Attachment :   CCMRelocationFactsSheet.doc (0.03 MB)


In response to your email, I'd like to be very clear that
Chicago Children's Museum has not changed it's position
regarding the ice-skating rink at Daley Bi-Centennial. From day
one, we have shared with the community (NEAR, GPAC, FOTP and
CPDB) that we are in discussions with the Park District in
relocating the ice skating rink.  As I have shared with you on
various occasions, the ice-skating rink is Park District
property and they ultimately have the final say on what's going
to happen to the rink.  However, we fully recognize and respect
the community's concerns relating to the ice-skating rink and
have shared these concerns with the Park District.  In no way has
CCM wavered or changed it's position relating to this issue.

As promised, I've attached a copy of the CCM relocation facts
sheet that outlines the proposed scope of work and benefits of
relocating to Daley Bi-Centennial.  If you have any questions,
please feel free to contact me.



www.NewEastside.ORG Website Index
The information collected and comments posted on this new webpage are by Richard Ward as website administrator for the last 7 years, and not as the new NEAR President (with the 3 noted exceptions).
This last paragraph was from Richard Ward as the new NEAR President, and not as the long-time independent website administrator. I pledge to make it clearer when I am the spokesperson for the NEAR Board. And in the future, any statements approved by the NEAR Board of Directors will be published in the NEAR Section of this neighborhood website. Printed: Sunday, February 12, 2006 10:06 PM 


From :  Richard Ward <>
Sent :  Sunday, February 12, 2006 10:00 PM
To :


Patricia, thank you for inviting me to the meeting that Kerri Johnson has organized on Monday, February 13th at 6:30 at the Daley Fieldhouse. As I responded last week, my wife and I have a schedule conflict and I will be unable to join you.

I am concerned that some of the information being distributed to our neighborhood is inaccurate and would lead our neighbors to oppose the Children’s Museum ongoing study of possibly making a significant investment in our neighborhood. After our New Eastside community has received clear answers to some of our initial concerns, we will all have several opportunities to discuss and add our individual and collective input to the process.

I was recently elected as President of the New Eastside Association of Residents, which is the only community organization where all the board members live in our neighborhood. We have begun to study all the factors that we should be considering to determine if the initial CCM conceptual plan will benefit our community. We have started to collect information so that as a community we can make an informed decision. A webpage on this issue is already under construction: , and we will be scheduling NEAR community meetings to explore our options together.

Because I will not be able to attend your meeting on Monday, I would like to review Kerri Johnston’s bullet points and add my thoughts to each of them:

1) “The Children’s Museum is looking to relocate away from Navy Pier” At the 4 presentations given to:  Friends of the Parks, GPAC, NEAR, and the Park District Board last Tuesday, the CCM Board is trying to decide between enlarging their Navy Pier space or relocation to another location. They have not made any decisions.

2) “The Children’s Museum is interested in the Daley Bicentennial Plaza location”
Yes, that is one of their options.

3) “The Children’s Museum has 500,000 visitors annually” Yes, that is the reported number.

4) “The Museum has already drawn up plans for the site” They have repeatedly described their “graphic boards” as only conceptual. They just presented the concept to the park district last Tuesday.

5) “The Main Entrance would be on Randolph, a dead end street” Randolph is not a dead end street. It turns into Harbor Drive, and a turn-around is under construction at the end of Harbor Drive between the Regatta and the Chandler. You can see the turn-around above Middle Wacker. No school busses and very few automobiles will use the Upper Randolph entrance.

6)”The amount of vehicular and pedestrian traffic would increase tremendously on Randolph, a dead end street” This “Did you know” factual bullet point is probably the most misleading. We are getting specific numbers, but everyone was told at the meetings that the school busses would only use the Middle Randolph entrance to the proposed museum. Probably 95% of our residents have never walked along the 6-lane Middle Randolph through-street from Michigan Ave. to Lake Shore Drive. Automobile drivers to the museum would use either the Columbus Drive entrance to the garage or the Lower Randolph garage entrance from the north (down the new ramp from Middle Columbus). Those arriving by public bus (#60, #4, #6, #20, and #56) would not add to the traffic congestion. The pedestrian arrivals and the cab arrivals would be expected to increase somewhat.

7) “We would lose our ice rink” Everyone at all meetings has been told by the CCM representatives and the park district that our ice rink would NOT be lost.

8) “The field house and programs would temporarily be displaced during the building phase” Displaced means the programs would not exist…a more accurate and less alarming word would be temporarily “moved”. The CCM has assured everyone that the ice rink and the existing programs would continue. Mary McDonald, the park district Director of Lakefront Operations, stated at the NEAR meeting that nothing has been decided, and assured everyone at the meeting that the ice rink and the existing programs would continue.  The CCM staff are discussing recommending a temporary near-by move to the Millennium Park backstage areas and/or the Cultural Center empty areas on the east side of the first floor. Please remember this whole concept was just presented to the park district board last week.

Rather than alarm the community, we should all be seeking accurate answers to our concerns. I promise the NEAR Board will be working hard to represent our residential community and insure that any proposal has a “significant net benefit” to our community. For example, we are very interested in being able to visit our local museum that we would be welcoming as a neighbor into our community. The CCM board and staff have been discussing this subject even before we were aware of their need to expand or move. We enjoy many free concerts and access to our Millennium Park and Cultural Center. Hopefully the CCM Board will offer similar incentives to join our residential community. The corporate Connections webpage of the CCM offers some ideas, such as the access the current 32 Corporate Partners enjoy:

Working together, we can continue to keep our neighborhood a great place to call home.

We currently have an email notification list of over 425 addresses that augments the NewEastside.ORG website and links that have enjoyed over 38,000 page visits. Increasing our ability to communicate is a continuing objective, because an informed community is a better community. Please help to add email addresses to our list. We carefully avoid any inappropriate use of our email lists, and use them only to improve our community.

I am sending this email to the persons that were notified of the Monday meeting, and would appreciate these ideas being discussed. Hope you have a good meeting. Our NEAR Board appreciates your vital interest in our New Eastside community and we are looking forward to working with your group to continually improve our home community.

Thank you, Richard

Richard F. Ward, FAX & PH 312-938-0884
155 Harbor Dr. #5101, Chicago, IL 60601

This paragraph is an exception, as noted above, and Richard Ward is writing as the new NEAR President.
This meeting was called by concerned persons that were generally opposed to the move by CCM to the Daley Bicentennial Plaza.

The information collected and comments posted on this new webpage are by Richard Ward as website administrator for the last 7 years, and not as the new NEAR President (with the 3 noted exceptions).

When the N.E.A.R. Board has studied the proposed CCM move, possibly surveyed the community, and formed a position, it will be published in the official NEAR section of this NewEastside.ORG website on page:

You are on the page referred to in this last bullet point. This website has been the personal responsibility of Richard Ward for the last 7 years and is not the NEAR website. A separate area on the general Neweastside.ORG website will contain all the NEAR official information,
NOTES by the meeting organizers on Monday, FEB. 13, 2006 AT DALEY BICENTENNIAL FIELDHOUSE 6:30pm

What We Know
The Chicago Children’s Museum (CCM):
-is looking to relocate away from Navy Pier.

-is only pursuing one option for this move; the Daley Bicentennial Plaza.

-has been working on this plan for a long time.

-has already drawn up plans for the site.

-has hired consultants and others to design, plan and lobby to ensure that this move happens.

-went straight to the Mayor’s office with their initial plans and completely bypassed the Chicago Park District and it’s leaders.

-has been conducting extensive lobbying and campaigning for this move with many political leaders, civic organizations, and other organizations.

-made a presentation to the parents of the Lake Front Academy.

-made  presentations at  recent NEAR, GPAC, FOTP  meetings.

At the last meeting of the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners
-the Children’s Museum gave a presentation/proposal to the Board and presented letters of support and endorsement from a number of organizations (Grant Park Conservancy, “Friends of the Park”, and others).

-Kerri Johnson, a resident of our neighborhood, spoke on behalf of our group, and stated our opposition to this move.

-the Board stated that this move was not a “done deal” and that they would have to study the proposal.

-the Children’s Museum asked for permission to conduct a feasibility study. The Board gave them permission to conduct the study.

-we asked the representative of CCM if GiGi Pritzker promised $10 million for the move and she responded “I don’t have that information for you”.

-we asked the representative of CCM for a copy of the proposal. We were told that it is not available to the public.

-Gigi Pritzker Pucker is the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Children’s Museum.

-The Children’s Museum has 500,000 visitors annually.

-The CEO of the Chicago Park District, Tim Mitchell, has publicly stated that the number of visitors will increase if the museum is relocated to the Daley Bicentennial Plaza location.

-The Main Entrance would be on Randolph, a street with no throughway just a turnaround currently under construction.

-There is a regular stream of pedestrian traffic (in the summer) walking east on Randolph looking for access to Navy Pier, even though there are several posted signs stating that there is no access to Navy Pier.

-Daley Bi needs extensive repairs/updating.

-The CEO of the Chicago Park District, Tim Mitchell, has publicly stated that there are existing plans to improve the Daley Bicentennial Plaza even if the Children’s Museum does not relocate there.

-According to the Children’s Museum’s plans the existing ice rink will be “demolished”.

-According to NEAR’s President (e-mail 2-13-06) the plans to pay for any relocation of the ice is still an unresolved issue (paid by Park District, CCM ,or both?).

We started to distribute information cards last Thursday. Since then:
-74 people (80%) have stated they would sign a petition opposing the Children’s Museum move and 12 people ( 86 = 93%) stated they would sign a petition stating their concern about the proposed move.

-32 people (35%) have volunteered to work to organize a response to this move.

-You can go to NEAR’s website and find  the same CCM info you have received tonight and complete a survey to express your opposition or support of this move.


-Who do we go to for information?  City, Park District, Museum?

-What are other possible locations that the Museum should consider?

-What is the timeline on this project?

-How will this project be funded?

-Has Gigi Pritzker promised $10 million?

-Do we have all the contact names, numbers and e-mails for all of the people who will make the decision or influence the decision (the Park District, City, GPAC, FOTP, CCM)?

-How can we get an audience with the decision makers to voice our opposition and position?

-Who are the powerful and influential people who oppose this move?

-Who are the people in our neighborhood who know these powerful and influential people (or know someone who knows someone who knows ….).

-How do we get a copy of the Children’s Museum proposal to the Park District?

-How do we get civic and other organizations to assist us and oppose this move?

-What is the position of the condo boards in the neighborhood?

-What contacts do people in our neighborhood have?

-How do we put together a petition?

-The Chicago Park District’s budget shows $ 8 million available for facility rehabilitation in 2006 and $ 38.6 million available in 2007- 2010. How do we secure some of these funds for improving Daley Bi?

-How can we get an information card to everyone in our neighborhood?

-Should we hire a lobbyist?

-What did the organization that opposed the construction of permanent docks in Monroe Harbor do to stop this project?

-Who were the leaders in the Monroe Harbor oppositions?

-How would the Children’s Museum relocation affect our property values?

From  CCM
From Ward
RED From Concerned Group
From Concerned Group
From Concerned Group
From CCM
Friends of the Parks Testimony......Dated February 8, 2006
Testimony to the Park District Board of Commissioners on the Proposed Chicago Children's Museum in Grant Park.
Friends of the Parks supports the concept of the Children's Museum in Grant Park assuming that the final architectural designs and funding plan meet the following conditions:

1. Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection Ordinance (LPO)

Policy 5 of the Lakefront Protection Ordinance states: "Maintain and improve the formal character and open water vista of Grant Park with no new above-ground structure permitted". To comply with the LPO, the Chicago Children's Museum should be constructed below ground.

2. A. Montgomery Ward Court Decisions

Grant Park is governed by the A. Montgomery Ward court decisions including the Illinois Supreme Court's ruling that Grant Park is to remain "Forever Open, Clear and Free of any Buildings". The Ward Court decisions add further support for the construction of a below-ground museum structure.

3. Daley Bicentennial Park Plaza as Public Recreation Facility

The Daley Bi-Centennial Park Plaza was constructed with tax dollars as a public recreational facility in the 1970's. The children's Museum should be responsible to construct and pay the replacement costs for the Daley Bi-Centennial Park Plaza recreation center and ice skating rink for this expanding community. There should be a separate Park District entrance.

During the museum's anticipated two-year construction phase, the Children's Museum should be required to find replacement space for the public recreation programs. The Children's Museum should be responsible for the cost of the alternative recreation space for Park District programs.

4. Private Funding for the project

If the plan moves forward for the construction of a new Children's Museum in Grant Park, the entire cost of the construction of the museum, the recreation center and the alternative recreation location should be the responsibility of the Children's Museum. Chicago property taxpayers should not help to fund any part of the construction project through either the museum or the Park District bond program.

We thank the Children's Museum for engaging the community in a dialogue on their initial concept plan. We look forward to working with them and the Park District as the plan evolves to architectural schematic designs."
Sunday - Wednesday & Friday: 10am-5pm
Thursday & Saturday: 10am-8pm
Target Free First Mondays:  10am-8pm
Free Family Night
Thursday evenings, 5-8pm - Free admission for everyone

Attempting to obtain study.
Attempting to determine source of replacement costs
Approx. 10% of visitors would use proposed Middle Randolph entrance.
Statistics at a Glance
Chicago Children's Museum provided learning adventures to nearly 700,000 in FY 2004

475,000  Navy Pier Museum Visitors, including:

                  87,000   Member Visits
                  46,000   Kraft Free Family Night attendees

                  48,200   Students and Educators.................................

                  91,000    Community Access participants, both on- and off-site

210,000  Visitors to Kids on the Fly at O'Hare Airport

685,000   TOTAL...2004  (latest year Annual Report available)
  272,200 with 202,800 visitors not associated with a category
<................Still attempting to get digital graphics that were presented at several public meetings.
<..............Still attempting to obtain a copy from CCM of the "Preliminary Traffic Study" referred to below.

Do you support the CCM moving to Daley Bicentennial Plaza?
-- I  SUPPORT the CCM move and the rebuilding of the Daley Field House if the Ice Rink is rebuilt by CCM and our existing local programs continue.
-- I  DO NOT SUPPORT the CCM move to our neighborhood, because their half-million visitors would add excessive vehicle and pedestrian traffic to our growing residential neighborhood.
-- I have NO OPINION at this time. More information and meetings are needed for me to form an opinion before this web poll ends on March 7, 2006. I will give my opinion in a future web poll.


Revenue and Support
Government Grants.....................224,956
Contributed Goods & Services  2,143,532
Benefit Events..............................417,609
Corporate Memberships              
      and Sponsorships.................401,323
Family Memberships....................360,308
Admissions ...............................1,316,712
Workshop Fees............................189,458
Group Ticket Sales........................37,948
Museum Store Revenue...............248,814
Investment Income.......................163,746

Total Revenue and Support.....12,632,163

Program Services....................$ 6,918,432
Supporting services:
  Management and General......1,106,720
  Fund Raising...........................1,231,208

TOTAL EXPENSES...................$ 9,307,343

Revenue and Support in
       Excess of Expenses.........$ 3,324,820

Unrealized Loss in Market
        Value of Investments...........(35,657)

Change in Net Assets..............$ 3,289,163

Net Assets at Beginning
          of Year.........................$ 7,986,547

Net Assets at End of Year $ 11,275,710
March 27, 2006                                   ( This same letter was sent to Alderman Natarus on March 24th. )

New Eastside Area Residents                                                  
Richard Ward
155 Harbor Drive #5101
Chicago, IL 60601

RE:Chicago Children’s Museum
Potential Relocation to Daley Bicentennial Plaza

Dear Mr. Ward:

Thank you for your time and interest in evaluating Chicago Children’s Museum’s potential relocation to Daley Bicentennial Plaza.  Chicago Children’s Museum is in need of updating and expanding our museum to incorporate the best practice in early childhood development and to create a place of beauty, joy, magic and wonder for the community we serve. This proposed relocation option offers many exciting benefits to the community, including:

•A new and larger field house, with joint Park District programming

•A beautiful museum with enhanced programming with surrounding cultural institutions

•A destination for the Frank Gehry-designed footbridge

•A family amenity for the area’s growing residential community

•A well-designed museum and field house that respects the character of Grant Park and improves the views of the lake, city and park from new public green park roofs

•The implementation of sustainable and green construction techniques and the goal of LEED (Leader in Energy and Environmental Design) certification

In the next several months, we will be hiring an architect to develop a vision for the new field house and museum at this location and will continue to work with the community to test our solutions in a series of focused workshops and public meetings.  A final solution will be developed in collaboration with your input as we continue to study the feasibility of this relocation.

We have had preliminary meetings with various community and civic groups and have been encouraged by their overwhelming support.   We are also mindful of the community’s concerns, such as maintaining open park land, the impacts to the ice rink and field house programming, and traffic issues.   Our goal will be to minimize disruption to the community through careful planning and thoughtful design.

Based on discussions with the Park District, we learned that the existing field house is in desperate need of repair and is scheduled, but not budgeted, for replacement.  Building our museum on this site will provide an opportunity to build a new and larger field house with the opportunity for joint programming with the Park District and a new museum.  A brand new ice rink will also be constructed at a new site within the park.

Today, half our visitors use public transportation, trolley, cabs or walk to the museum.  This new site offers improved connections to public transportations, and convenient vehicular circulation and bus drop offs at mid and lower Randolph Streets, thereby minimizing the pedestrian and vehicular traffic on upper Randolph Street.  The proposed museum hours will also coincide with off-peak traffic times.

We appreciate your input and will continue to work with the Chicago Park District and City of Chicago to identify viable solutions to your concerns.  We understand how important this site is to you, and if we move forward, we will do so in partnership with the community.


Peter England                         
President and CEO