Thursday, December 13, 2012

Save the Chicago Reagan apartment from destruction

The Reagan apartment
Ronald Reagan, the greatest president of my lifetime, was the only president born in Illinois. He move out of the Prairie State until he accepted a broadcasting job in Iowa after graduating from Eureka College near Peoria.

All of the Illinois Reagan homes--and there were a lot of them--are still standing save the family's first one in Galesburg. A Dixon home where the Reagans may have lived is now a McDonald's parking lot.

But the University of Chicago is poised to tear down the apartment where the future movie star and president lived in 1915.

What will replace the Reagan apartment?

A vacant lot.

The Commission on Chicago Landmarks has denied landmark status for the home, which sits across the massive University of Chicago Medical Center's New Pavilion. The apartment, which is at 832 E. 57th Street, is owned by the university.

Although it's not on Illinois' Reagan Trail, I included the Chicago flats in my 2011 travel series that was done in honor of the Reagan centennial.

My idea: Save the building and turn it into a Reagan museum--with a wing dedicated to Nobel Prize laureate Milton Friedman. The conservative economist, who died in 2006, was a University of Chicago professor.
Nothing remains of Reagan's first Galesburg home

Meanwhile, the U of C wants to be the home of the Barack Obama presidential library.

What a bunch of maroons.

As for the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, they can be reached at landmarks@cityofchicago.org.

UPDATE 10:30pm CST: There is now a White House online petition to save the Reagan apartment. Click here to sign.

UPDATE December 14: There is a Save the Chicago Reagan Apartment Facebook group too.

UPDATE December 16: For those of you who aren't comfortable leaving your email address with the White House, there is now a Causes.com petition you can sign.

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