Everybody seems to love Chicago's Millenium Park, from snapshot clicking tourists to the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, which hosts a talk on Tuesday night at the Overture Center's Promenade Hall featuring Edward Uhlir, the park's designer, and Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz. The title of the event is "Millennium Park: A Triumph for Chicago, an Inspiration for Madison."
But not everyone considers the park a triumph. While it succeeded in turning a particularly ugly area of railyards, scrub brush and parking ramps along Chicago's lakefront into a destination for tourists, critics say it's the latest example of Chicago Mayor Richard M. (don't call him "Richie") Daley throwing property tax money into a glamour project at the expense of improvements that would better serve city residents.
Ben Joravsky, who covers politics for the Chicago Reader, points to deteriorating conditions at Chicago city parks in particular, many of which hold previously grand gyms and pavilions, beautiful examples of WPA architecture that have fallen into disrepair. A parallel could be drawn to Madison's lakes, formerly the city's crowning jewels that have become foul-smelling punchlines.
A triumph for Madison, and Mayor Dave, would be cleaning up those lakes so we can continue to be inspired, rather than repulsed, by the occasions we spend near them, particularly late in the summer. Then we can talk about building a big, shiny park.
MAYOR CIESLEWICZ WEEKLY SCHEDULE
Monday, March 12, 2007
9:00 a.m. Department/Division heads meeting, MMB 260
10:00 a.m. PrairieFire BioFuels news conference, PrairieFire BioFuels Coop, 1894 E. Washington Avenue
11:00 a.m. Marc Houtakker
12:00 noon Lunch with Raj Sheth
1:00 p.m. Policy staff meeting
2:00 p.m. Dick Grasmick quarterly meeting
3:00 p.m. Mario Mendoza
4:30 p.m. Board of Estimates meeting, MMB 260
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
10:00 a.m. David Denig-Chakroff quarterly meeting
11:00 a.m. Lucia Nunez quarterly meeting
1:30 p.m. Bill Mitchell, Halsey North, and Mario Mendoza
2:00 p.m. Pam Williamson and mayoral assistants regarding appointments to City boards, committees, and commissions
7:00 p.m. Speak at Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters "Millennium Park: A Triumph for Chicago; An Inspiration for Madison," Overture Center, Promenade Hall
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
9:00 a.m. Speak at City Green Cleaning Purchasing Team meeting, Monona Terrace 10:00 a.m. Staff meeting 1:30 p.m. Sherrie Gruder, Mike Vickerman, and Jeanne Hoffman 2:30 p.m. Allied Staff Team meeting, MMB LL-110 4:00 p.m. Ann Emerson and George Twigg
Thursday, March 15, 2007
9:00 a.m. Dorothy Conniff quarterly meeting 10:30 a.m. Public Works Improvements (PWI) meeting 1:00 p.m. Mark Bugher, Mark Olinger, and Janet Piraino 6:00 p.m. Read at Orchard Ridge Elementary School 2nd annual reading event, 5602 Russett Road
Friday, March 16, 2007
11:00 a.m. Jeanne Hoffman 12:00 noon Common Council leadership meeting 2:00 p.m. Mario Mendoza 3:00 p.m. Sharyl Kato, Peng Her, Agnes Cammer, Lakshmi Sridhiran, Lucia Nunez, and Enis Ragland
Saturday, March 17, 2007
1:30 p.m. Dane County Shamrock Club St. Patrick's Day parade, State Capitol Square