Sunday, February 6, 2011

From my Window: Sunday Surprise!

About 40 minutes ago, I opened my living room blinds to look at the world today. Here is some of what I saw:

Thought the curly willow juxtaposed against the snowy trees made for a nice effect.

Soooo happy I was able to get out yesterday!

P.S.: It's beautiful, isn't it?

Gone, but definitely NOT forgotten!

"You can accomplish much if you don't care who gets the credit."
--Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States of America

President Reagan throws the first pitch at Wrigley Field in 1988

Is Ronald Reagan's Chicago boyhood home doomed?

Locked up, abandoned and forgotten, the vacant six-flat standing at the northeast corner of 57th and Maryland has no plaques or statues and few clues to its history.

Now, the little-known childhood home of Ronald Reagan in Hyde Park could soon be torn down by the University of Chicago, which has quietly plotted its demolition, the Sun-Times has learned.

The plan has made unlikely allies of conservatives who consider Reagan an icon and liberal Hyde Parkers who say the university’s secrecy is typical of how it has treated its neighbors for decades.

It puts the school that provided the intellectual force behind “Reaganomics” in the awkward spot of attempting to destroy what was until the election of Barack Obama the only home in Chicago where a president has lived.

In fact, the university’s controversial new Milton Friedman Institute — named in tribute to the architect of Reagan’s free market policies — is just a few blocks away from the former Reagan home.

Though Reagan — born 100 years ago Sunday — spent just a year at the home as a 3-to-4 year-old from 1914 to 1915 and most of his youth in western Illinois, he wrote fondly of the gas-lit first-floor apartment at 832 E. 57th St.

In a 1988 letter, he described watching horse-drawn firefighters “come down the street at full gallop . . . the sight made me decide I wanted to be a fireman.”

He described surviving a near-fatal bout of pneumonia, playing with a neighbor’s set of lead soldiers, how his older brother was run over by a beer wagon and how they both panicked while his parents went out for groceries, left the house and got lost across the Midway.

University officials, who bought Reagan’s home in 2004 and ordered tenants out a year ago, refuse to publicly discuss their plans for the building or the surrounding area. Spokesman Jeremy Manier said the university has “no announcements to make.”

Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) — whose ward includes the Reagan home — also says she is unaware of any demolition plans and that the school has improved its communication with residents.

But sources inside and outside the university versed in its real estate policy say it is in private talks to demolish the home, and that the university has long considered buying up and razing the entire block and the block to the east as essential to hospital expansion.

The $700 million, 10-story Hospital Pavilion, due to open in 2013, already looms over Reagan’s home across 57th Street.


Take the time today to read the rest here. It's quite interesting and there's a great photo gallery!