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Children's Museum Mulls Staying Put at Navy Pier

By Kim Bellware in News on Mar 23, 2011 10:00PM

chicago_childrens_museum.jpg The contentious battle over whether the Chicago Children's Museum could move into the north east corner of Grant Park has reached another turning point, with museum officials considering abandoning the proposed move from the current location at Navy Pier.

"In response to a formal request by the new leadership of Navy Pier, Chicago Children's Museum has agreed to discuss whether the plans for a revitalized Navy Pier could support our goals for a new museum," said Jennifer Farrington, the museum's president and chief executive officer in a statement yesterday.

Since Mayor Daley announced the proposed move in 2006, the museum's relocation has been fraught with allegations of classism, croynism and NIMBY-ism, opponents arguing that what's good for the CCM is ultimately bad for the taxpayers and defenders of downtown greenspace. Amid the threats of lawsuits and pushback, the plan to relocate hit another stumbling block in 2009 when financial concerns looked to threaten the museum's move (though CCM officials disputed those claims).

Since coming under new leadership earlier this year, Navy Pier is expected to see significant changes, which may include expansion of parking areas, expanding the Shakespeare Theater, adding a 4,000-seat concert venue, an indoor skating rink and overhauling the restaurant and fast food offerings.