Monday, August 29, 2005

Today's Chicago Sun-Times editorial page declares, "Look at us now: Downtown's rebirth has saved city's soul."

Here's what the editorial writers had to say:

"Why is Chicago such a fabulous city? Because it has been run by visionaries who understood that the vibrancy of a city's downtown is essential to its long-term health. From planner Daniel Burnham, who transformed the lakeside with gracious parks, to the present Mayor Daley, who envisioned the highbrow yet communal Millennium Park, Chicago has been fortunate in its civic leaders, men and women who have a profound interest in enhancing and developing the city."

Since working there this summer, I have had to leave the Loop only twice for meetings, once to go to University of Chicago sociologist Terry Nichols Clark's apartment in Bronzevile with a spectacular view back to the city and out to Lake Michigan, and once to visit David Perry at University of Illinois at Chicago's Great Cities Institute. But then, UIC is only one block out of what is now considered downtown, so that hardly counts.

The point is that Chicago's decison makers have kept their offices downtown. They see each other at lunch. It's easy to get together and share ideas. And, in my opinion, it shows.

It's good to see the commitments First Tennessee Bank, Baker Donelson, the Hyde Family Foundations, among others, have made to downtown. We just need more like them.

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