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by Ms. Marple, ©2012

Famous landmarks in Chicago, IL

(Jun. 14, 2012) —  Was Chicago selected as the host city because Obama conducted “community organizing” on the South Side of Chicago, or could it be more likely that Michelle Obama and Valerie Jarrett lobbied for the City of Chicago due to their extensive expertise from their previous work for the City of Chicago Landmark Commission?

According to many articles I recently read leading up to the 2012 Chicago NATO summit, Mayor Rahm Emanuel was “beefing up” forces and conducting drills in the city in  preparation of possible social unrest as a result of both activists and Occupiers’ presence during the 2012 NATO summit. After departing the White House under the Obama administration, the last thing with which Rahm Emanuel wanted to be associated was be a repeat of the 1969 “Days of Rage,” with police taking matters into their own hands against protesters.  I also read about Barack Obama’s old pals and neighbors, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dorhn, who could simply not resist attending the Chicago anti-NATO rally on May 18, 2012, at which time they danced to the music of Tom Morello, formerly of the band “Rage Against the Machine” from the late 1960’s. What great memories these sounds must have brought to this infamous couple in the present day.  It brings back the good old days for them, I am sure.

Speaking of the good old days, I was glad to hear that Michelle Obama was hosting the wives and significant others of the foreign delegation on various tours of historical locations throughout the City of Chicago.

Michelle Obama and her Hyde Park neighbor, Valerie Jarrett, gained extensive experience from their days on the Mayor Daley-appointed and coveted City of Chicago Landmark Commission in the 1990’s, at which time each served alongside Marian Despres, wife of long-time Hyde Park Alderman, Leon Despres.

Although Michelle Obama probably did her best by bringing the delegates to her old neighborhood to visit the Youth Center and learn about exercise, I am sure that both Valerie Jarrett and Marian Despres, each having a famous Chicago architect relative, Robert Robinson Taylor and Alfred S. Alschuler, respectively, would have preferred that more touring time be spent in the Downtown and Hyde Park areas.  Unfortunately, the low-income housing projects named after Valerie Jarrett’s father, Robert Roucon Taylor, referred to as the Robert Taylor Homes, are long gone.

It is, however, possible that the work of Marian Depres’s father, Alfred S. Alschuler, did make the short list, as some of his works include the K.A.M Isaiah Israel Temple (current Operation PUSH Headquarters) which is located across the street from both Valerie Jarrett’s mother, Barbara Bowman, and the Obamas’ Chicago Greenwood Avenue homes.

I also heard that the delegation visited some of the buildings that Alfred S Alschuler colleagues constructed. In fact, the article stated that the Chicago architectural tours and the Chicago Art Institute were the two most requested tours that the delegates’ wives requested during their downtime in Chicago.   I am glad to see that the tour made a swing by the Museum Campus which includes the J. G. Shedd Aquarium, Alfred Adler Planetarium, the Natural Museum of History, and the Art Institute.  The famous luminaries these massive building commemorate and the architectural master masons who built these structures after the great fire in Chicago of 1871 need to be shared on the world stage.

The people and places involved in the creation of these landmarks after the Great Chicago Fire are the same people who made the Chicago Historical Society a reality in the first place, so it is nice to see that the past Chicago Landmark leadership: Valerie Jarrett, Michelle Robinson Obama and  Marian Despres (at least in spirit, as she passed away in her Hyde Park home at the ripe old age of 97), were a part of educating the world elite on the history of these structures.

Speaking of the great Chicago fire of 1871, my all-time favorite Chicago landmark is the Water Tower that survived the fire.  Although it survived the Great Fire of 1871, plans commenced in the Hyde Park and Water Works Township to develop a sewer system for the City of Chicago to ensure that another such fire would never happen again in the Great City of Chicago and to calm the fears of the remaining population.

It is my sincere hope that Michelle Obama and Team shared with the world delegation not only a drive-by, look-see at the buildings, but also that they also provided them with the proper historical context of the people, places, and events which surrounded the rebuilding of Chicago in anticipation for the World Expedition of 1893.

To a city that burned to the ground in 1871, the first official city water works commissioner would be a very logical person to command respect as somewhat of a savior. It is a good thing that John H. Dunham was able to rise to the occasion and provide the city with a system that met the needs and still endures to this day.

The strange thing is, my understanding is that Michelle Obama’s father worked for the Chicago Water Works.  It’s a small world, isn’t it?

Anyway, it is my opinion that either Michelle Obama or Valerie Jarrett, maybe even in collusion, championed the successful lobbying effort with the “powers that be” to have the City of Chicago host the 2012 NATO Summit and that Chicago was not selected as the host city due to the “community organizing” that Barack Obama commenced after arriving in the city well into his adulthood.

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