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Children’s Museum May Never Come To Grant Park

Children's Museum Plan

The 2008 plan for the Chicago Children’s Museum at Grant Park. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) – It appears the fight over moving the Chicago Children’s Museum to the northeast corner of Grant Park might be over.

As WBBM Newsradio 780′s Mike Krauser reports, a public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday night to discuss where plans for the museum are headed.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Mike Krauser reports

Three years ago, the City Council approved a controversial $100 million plan to move the Children’s Museum from Navy Pier to Daley Bicentennial Plaza in Grant Park.

The Council voted 33-16 to approve the plan, over the objections of Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd). Mayor Richard M. Daley was a strong backer of the move.

But now, Bob O’Neill, the head of the Grant Park Conservancy, is telling the Chicago Sun-Times it is time to create a blueprint for the park’s north end without the Children’s Museum.

Fundraising has waned, along with the economy, for the plan to bring the Children’s Museum to the park. And incoming Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who takes office next month, has been chatting about hitting the “re-set button” on discussions for a museum there.

So O’Neill scheduled a public meeting Tuesday night to talk about what’s next.

“The likelihood is diminishing, and I don’t want to wait around for an announcement that they’re not moving to Grant Park,” O’Neill said. “If I were to bet, I’d say they’re staying at Navy Pier.”

“It’s incredibly disappointing because the potential for that area is incredible,” O’Neill told the Sun-Times. Funding for the planned semi-subterranean museum at the corner of Columbus and Monroe drives included a new Park District field house next door — one of O’Neill’s pet projects.

On Tuesday, the discussion with neighbors will focus on whether they want to find a way to demolish the existing, leaky-roofed field house at 337 E. Randolph Dr. or rehab it.

The Chicago Sun-Times contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire