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Maggie Daley Championed The Historic Building That Will Host Her Visitation

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Purple bunting adorns the entrance to the Chicago Cultural Center in honor of Maggie Daley, who died Thursday. (CBS)

Purple bunting adorns the entrance to the Chicago Cultural Center in honor of Maggie Daley, who died Thursday. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – It’s appropriate that Maggie Daley’s visitation will be held this weekend at the Chicago Cultural Center, the beneficiary of her preservation efforts.

The former Chicago first lady’s passion for the arts helped transform Chicago’s old central library into a centerpiece for culture in the city.

One her first public causes was fund-raising to further renovate the ornate, old library, which was saved from the wrecking ball by her mother-in-law, Eleanor “Sis” Daley.

“She has done a lot for the community and also for the heart of Chicago,” Shannan Crawford tells CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley. “A lot of things she’s done for a lot of the children’s programs and art museums and things of that nature. She will definitely be remembered, never forgotten.”

Outside the Cultural Center, purple bunting of mourning adorned the Washington Street entrance. Streets and Sanitation chief Tom Byrne and other city officials planned traffic-flow and logistical details for Mrs. Daley’s public wake there, from noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

She died Thursday after a nine-year battle with breast cancer.

Just across the street from the Cultural Center, the Gallery 37 store is a showcase for the artwork produced by Chicago teenagers in the enrichment program Maggie Daley cherished, After School Matters.

Ellen Sullivan O’Brien took part as one of Cows on Parade painters.

“It really was really an inspiration for kids everywhere to be able to go into the city, to go into the block and to create. It was just this energy that was there, it was amazing,” she said.

Mayor Emanuel has guaranteed that After School Matters will continue to play a major role in Chicago’s education efforts. And of course, he’ll have former Mayor Daley looking over his shoulder, proudly guarding his wife’s legacy.

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