The city of Chicago's office of tourism has a whole Web page devoted to “Obama-related tours” of its South Side Hyde Park neighborhood, including stops where the president used to live, where he played basketball and where he and his wife, Michelle, had their wedding reception.
Outliers: It's Reagan's neighborhood, too
Now, however, an odd collection of conservatives, history buffs and architectural preservationists are concerned that future tourists will not be able to visit a somewhat nondescript apartment building that is nearby and across the street from a massive construction site where Michelle Obama’s former employer, the University of Chicago Medical Center, is putting up a $700 million pavilion.
The six-flat at East 57th Street and South Maryland Avenue was reportedly purchased by the university in 2004, and it is the owner of other nearby properties that fit into school expansion plans. While preservationists told the student newspaper they fear historical buildings will be replaced with a “sterile canyon,” the reason the building is getting increased attention is because it was learned that another president, a very young Ronald Reagan, lived there from 1914 to 1915 when he was 3 and 4 years old.
Historical reasons aside, local preservationist Jack Spicer told the Chicago Sun-Times that demolishing the building would further isolate the hospital from the neighborhood and deepen long-standing wounds between residents and the university.
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