Reporting Craig Dellimore
CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel has welcomed word that the Chicago Children’s Museum has signed a new lease with Navy Pier, keeping it there through this century, but his office isn’t providing many details of the lease.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the mayor wouldn’t say Tuesday if his administration offered any financial incentives for the museum to stay at Navy Pier for up to 90 years, but he said he’s glad the museum board has given up its attempt to move to Daley Bicentennial Plaza in Grant Park.
The controversial plan to move to Grant Park was backed by former Mayor Richard M. Daley, who pushed the plan through the City Council in 2008, despite the opposition of the local alderman, Brendan Reilly (42nd), and ignoring the long-standing City Council tradition of “aldermanic prerogative” – under which the council usually bows to the wishes of the local alderman on development and zoning issues.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports
“I told you we were going to find common ground, and resolve the issue of this conflict about where the Children’s Museum should go,” Emanuel said. “As a father — my wife would refer to [as] a Saturday father sometimes — I have a place to take [my] children. There is nothing like the Children’s Museum, and I’m glad they’ve decided to anchor themselves with Navy Pier.”
The museum had originally sought to move to Grant Park to have more space. Instead, the 90-year-lease at Navy Pier will allow the museum to expand there.
“One of the plans we have to go forward is a whole revitalized Navy Pier, with a revitalized Children’s Museum, so families like myself, and parents like myself can continue to enjoy a great cultural institution and educational entity at Navy Pier,” Emanuel said.
Emanuel did not back the plan to move the museum to Grant Park when he ran for mayor last year.
He said his office would provide details of the new lease at Navy Pier later.