Sunday, January 13, 2013

Friends of President Reagan’s Chicago Home incorporates Monday (UPDATED)

Reagan apt., January 6, 2013
Mary Claire Kendall has been a tireless advocate in the effort to save the Chicago Reagan apartment. Her Washington Examiner piece about the struggle to save the Hyde Park home of the first president to live in Chicago inspired a Peter Hannaford article in the American Spectator that was picked up by the Drudge Report.

The University of Chicago, which owns the building, wants to tear it down and replace it with a parking lot. Several neighboring structures have already been leveled and the university applied for a demolition for the Reagan building last month.

Redd Griffin, a former Illinois state legislator from Oak Park, was the champion of the effort to save the South Side six-flat until his unexpected death in November. Fortunately for the cause of historic preservation--Kendall has taken up Griffin's mission.

She notes this evening on her blog--with exclusive details--about the recent turn of events that just might save the Reagan apartment, which she is calling "an interim victory."

And Kendall also mentions that today is the sixth anniversary of the official opening of the home in Barbados where George Washington lived for two months.

She also adds that tomorrow the Friends of President Reagan's Chicago Home will incorporate.

From Kendall's blog, here is the draft mission statement.
Ohio, IL
The goal of Friends of President Reagan's Chicago Home is to work with the University of Chicago to develop a plan to transform President Reagan’s Chicago home at 832 E. 57th Street into a museum and center... The museum would be an exact replica of the "six-flat" home as it looked in 1915 when the Reagans lived there, providing information on the historical context and Reagan's experience there, where in 1915, Chicago had a population of over 2.2 million, whereas Tampico, where Reagan was born and lived until he was three, had a population of less than 1000. The center would be a celebration President Reagan's historic presidency and would build bridges to the immediate community... as well as to the larger national and international community. A side benefit is the travel and tourism dollars the museum and center would attract, given the deep and broad reservoir of affection for President Reagan nationally and internationally, which would create jobs. "Friends" also intends to make a contribution each year to the other Reagan homes in Illinois to underscore the fact that "The Ronald Reagan Trail" is a team and far from being a zero sum game, the Reagan Chicago Museum and Center will synergistically enhance the whole.
To contribute, write a check to Friends of President Reagan's Chicago Home and mail it to:
Friends of President Reagan's Chicago Home
P.O. Box 3772
Washington, DC 20027-3772
According to Kendall, "the initial contribution to help cover the incorporation can be structured as a non-profit donation."

The Reagan family lived in several northern Illinois towns. Chicago was the family's first stop after leaving Tampico--they returned there in 1919 after stints in Galesburg and Monmouth. The Reagans finally settled in Dixon in 1920.

I am quite pleased that "Friends" plans to partner with the Ronald Reagan Trail--which I drove the entire length of in 2011 in honor of the Reagan Centennial.

Reagan birthplace in 2011
Reagan was the only president who was born and reared in Illinois. While Illinois will always be the Land of Lincoln--as it should be--our 16th president was born in Kentucky and spent most of his formative years in Indiana.

As for the Reagan apartment, yes, historical preservation has achieved "an interim victory."

But there is never a time to be overconfident.

UPDATE January 14: The incorporation will be occuring this week.

Related posts:
Technorati tags:   

No comments: