PRESS: Former Sun-Times Architecture Critic Comes Out Swinging Against OPC Design, Placement in Park

“While promoting his book “Southern Exposure” about architectural design on the South Side, former Sun-Times architecture critic Lee Bey questioned both the design of the Obama Presidential Center and its proposed placement in Jackson Park.

“The design of the library, I do not like. I think that that tower is foolishness. I think the design is foolishness,” Bey said. “It’s clad in limestone or granite; it’s shoved in this park. If it’s going to be in a park, I think I say in the book, it needs to be a more organic and alive building.”

“He further questioned the necessity of establishing it in a park at all, suggesting a site in Washington Park near the Garfield Green Line station would be a better option as a “vertical, modern, transit-oriented asset to the neighborhood,” spurring applause from attendees of his Nov. 26 talk at the Silver Room, 1506 E. 53rd St.

“Furthermore, Bey fears the OPC “is being oversold as a catalyst.” Its $500 million price tag, he said, “is like pouring water into the ground,” comparing it to the economic benefits spurred by the 1999-completed resurfacing of the Dan Ryan Expressway and the construction of the new University of Chicago Medical Center, which opened in 2013. (Gettinger, 11/27/19)

Former Sun-Times architecture critic comes out swinging against OPC design, placement in park, Aaron Gettinger, Hyde Park Herald, 11/27/19

Lee Bey on Chicago’s South Side, Historic Preservation, and Race, CommonEdge, Martin C. Pedersen, 10/22/19


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