Former President Barack Obama points out features of the proposed Obama Presidential Center, which is scheduled to be built in nearby Jackson Park. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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What is Chicago Doing to Jackson Park?

This is a good example of poorly integrated site planning.

Jackson Park is a historic part of Chicago, writes Charles A. Birnbaum, president and CEO of the Cultural Landscape Foundation. It was originally designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, Sr., and Calvert Vaux. There are only three parks in the U.S. — Jackson Park, the Midway Plaisance, and Washington Park — that were designed by Olmsted and Vaux that are not in New York State. All three parks can be found on the National Register of Historic Places. But now, the city is dedicating 20 acres of the park for the Obama Presidential Center (OPC), and there’s a proposal to consolidate and privatize two golf courses and road closures and re-alignments are also being planned. The OPC was originally sold to the public as a presidential library to be administrated by the National Archives, writes Birnbaum. But now, it will be a private facility occupying “confiscated public parkland.” The Presidential Center design envisions three buildings, a museum, library and forum. When it was built, Olmsted had a vision: the Museum of Science and Industry was to be the “only dominating object of interest” in the park. But less than a decade after Olmsted died, Chicago started to follow Daniel Burnham’s famous 1909 Plan of Chicago that has been called “one of the most noted documents in the history of city planning.”

Read the full story at The Huffington Post