By Kierra Gray
Chicago’s City Council delayed the vote Wednesday on the lakefront siting of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art until next week pending further negotiation with the Chicago Bears on parking.
Bears fans hoping to tailgate before and after the games fear they will lose their space because of the museum plans. Bears fans could lose up to 1,000 spots if tailgating isn’t allowed at the top of the garage proposed for the museum south of Soldier Field, according to the Chicago Sun-times.
Alderman George Cardenas (12th Ward) said he is for the building of the Lucas Museum but thinks the cost for accommodations overall are over the top.
“I understand that they needed to make that accommodation to the Bears because they were complaining that’s their space or that their parking spaces got taken away. I think it’s okay for the short-term to come up with a different plan so that the Bears can get their parking maybe South of there somewhere and leave that open space,” Cardenas said. “It’s a beautiful open space for the public.”
The museum plan also includes additional green space planned on surface parking space used by the Bears, according to the Sun-Times.
Friends of the Parks will continue to challenge the museum siting with its ongoing lawsuit, according to the group’s Executive Director Juanita Irizarry.
“Regardless of how city council votes next week regarding the zoning we will still have our lawsuit. We don’t really think that the processes the city has been undertaking to get approvals for the ground lease or for zoning etc. are appropriate at this time because we [think] that it will be illegal to build on this land,” said Irizarry.
Alderman Toni Foulkes (16th Ward) said that there always will be an issue of traffic regardless of the siting of the museum. She said there may be more traffic upon the opening of the museum but it will die down.
“I personally am excited about the Lucas museum. I love the city, I love our skyline, I love the tourists and the revenue we get from tourists and it’s going to be an asset,” said Foulkes.
City Council will vote on the Lucas Museum site on October 28.