Tag Archives: Museum

Obamas close to selecting architects for presidential center

(WASHINGTON) President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle’s selection of an architect for their Obama Center in Chicago now is only weeks away, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned, with the first couple reviewing design proposals on Sunday.

The Obamas and key staffers from their Obama Foundation spent most of the afternoon in downtown Washington considering the proposals from architectural firms in the running to design a museum, library and foundation offices on Chicago’s South Side.

Marty Nesbitt, chairman of the Obama Foundation; Robbin Cohen, the executive director; and Roark Frankel, the real estate specialist who is the foundation director of planning and construction were at the meeting, the Sun-Times confirmed with a foundation official.

The Obamas already met in person with the seven lead architects who are finalists for the coveted commission.

The White House said in a statement only that the president and first lady are “meeting with foundation staff to review architecture and design proposals for the Obama Presidential Center.”

The Sunday session was to take a closer look at the ideas and concepts presented to the Obamas, who almost one year ago, on May 12, 2015, announced the South Side of Chicago as the future home of the center.

Still to be determined is whether the center will be located in Jackson Park or Washington Park. Before deciding, the foundation and the Obamas want input from the architect and specialists who have been conducting economic studies relating to the two sites.

Last September, the foundation said 140 architecture firms submitted responses to its “Request for Qualifications,” a mix of about three dozen elite “starchitects” invited to compete, and others who read the RFQ on the foundation website and sent in proposals on the gamble they could make the cut. The list got chopped to about 30, and the seven finalists were announced last December.

The only Chicago firm in the contest is John Ronan Architects. The others are Adjaye Associates, London; Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Genoa, Italy; and from New York, Diller Scofidio + Renfro; SHoP Architects, Snøhetta and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects.

— Chicago Sun-Times

Museum bows to pressure – will remove Hastert car

By John Dempsey, WLS News

The fall from grace continues for Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

Hastert has pleaded not guilty to Federal charges of failing to follow government bank reporting guidelines and lying to the FBI, regarding money he withdrew, reportedly to silence a man who claims Hastert sexually abused him as a teenager.

Several boards on which Hastert served have dumped him.   Also Wheaton College quickly removed Hastert’s name from it’s economics and public policy center following his indictment.

Now, the Volo Auto Museum says it is pulling a vintage car once owned by Hastert, that it had on display at the Illinois Tollway’s Belvedere Oasis.

Museum Director Brian Grams told “The Big John Howell Show” on WLS, the museum has gotten several calls objecting to the display of Hastert’s car, saying “Ever since all the allegations came up, we weren’t sure what we were going to do with it.  But we have since decided that we are going to pull it from the Oasis, and put it in storage, and try to figure out what we are going to do with it’.

Grams also told WLS, “”We’re a family destination. We, you know, pride ourselves on that.  So with the situation that’s going on, you know, we don’t want to offend any families.”

The car is a dark green 1942 Lincoln Zephyr that the museum bought from Hastert’s personal collection in 2007.

It had been part of the Volo Auto Museum’s collection of cars once owned by the “rich and famous”, that was on display at the Illinois Tollway’s Belvedere Oasis.   Grams also says the Tollway Authority requested it’s removal as well, in light of the Hastert indictment.

Here is a statement from the Volo Auto Museum:

“In the wake of recent events concearning former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert’s 1942 Lincoln Zephyr, Volo Auto Museum has removed Mr. Hastert’s Lincoln from the Illinois Tollway’s Belvidere Oasis.  Furthermore, the 1942 Lincoln Zephyr will not be on display at the Volo Auto Museum.  Volo is taking this very unusual action in light of the information concearning Speaker Hastert’s conduct as reported in the National Media over the last several days.  The actions Volo is taking should not be construed as passing judgment on Speaker Hastert’s guilt or innocence in his pending federal criminal case.”

See more at: http://www.volocars.com/1942-lincoln-zephyr–c-4742.htm#sthash.K0LembLM.dpuf

@ Copyright  2015 WLS News


Blue Star Museums offering free admission to active-duty military families starting Monday

(CHICAGO) More than 40 museums in the Chicago area are offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families this summer as part of the Blue Star Museums program.

The program runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day. It allows any active duty military servicemember, including National Guard and Reserve personnel, plus five relatives to visit participating museums for free, according to its website.

Forty-one museums in Chicago area are participating in the Blue Star Museums program this year — including the Museum of Science and Industry, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Morton Arboretum and several Frank Lloyd Wright sites, among many others.

Visitors should bring a military ID, according the program’s website. There is no limit to the number of museums that eligible participants can visit. Active duty members do not need to be present in order for their families to receive free admission to Blue Star Museums.

More than 2,000 museums nationwide participate in the program, which is a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families and the Department of Defense. More information is available at arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

According to the program’s website, participating institutions in the city of Chicago include:

  • Bronzeville Children’s Museum
  • Clarke House Museum
  • Ed Paschke Art Center
  • Emil Bach House – Frank Lloyd Wright Trust
  • Glessner House Museum
  • Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art
  • Leather Archives & Museum
  • McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum
  • Museum of Contemporary Photography
  • Museum of Science and Industry
  • National Museum of Mexican Art
  • Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
  • Robie House – Frank Lloyd Wright Trust
  • Smart Museum of Art
  • Swedish American Museum
  • The Art Institute of Chicago
  • The Richard H. Driehaus Museum
  • The Rookery – Frank Lloyd Wright Trust

Participating suburban museums include:

  • SciTech Hands On Museum in Aurora
  • Elgin Public Museum in Elgin
  • Elmhurst Historical Museum in Elmhurst
  • Lizadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst
  • Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston
  • Glen Ellyn Historical Society in Glen Ellyn
  • Great Lakes Naval Museum in Great Lakes
  • Joliet Area Historical Museum in Joliet
  • The Morton Arboretum in Lisle
  • The Museums at Lisle Station Park in Lisle
  • Lombard Historical Society in Lombard
  • Naper Settlement in Naperville
  • Northbrook Historical Society in Northbrook
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak park
  • Little White School Museum in Oswego
  • Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie
  • Air Classics Museum in Sugar Grove
  • Lake County Discovery Museum in Wauconda
  • Wauconda Township Historical Society in Wauconda
  • Kruse House Museum – West Chicago Historical Society in West Chicago
  • Gregg House Museum in Westmont
  • DuPage County Historical Museum in Wheaton
  • First Division Museum at Cantigny Park in Wheaton
  • Robert R. McCormick Museum at Cantigny in Wheaton