More Than an Olympic Feeling

By Mike Maddaloni on Saturday, February 24, 2007 at 12:34 PM with 0 comments

This past week the language got hot between Chicago and Los Angeles, the American cities vying to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. Once a decision is made between the two, that city will be competing against cities around the world to be the host. A decision will be coming in April on the US entry.

Various elements of the plans for the Olympics have already been released. Most of the Olympic village will be on the South Side of the city, and will feature a “temporary” stadium as the main venue for the games. Temporary means it will be torn down after the 2 week event. Other elements will remain, namely the residences that will become housing afterwards. Other existing venues in the city will be used for the games, including Grant Park as a main party spot and Millennium Park for medal awards.

The notion of temporary structures is not new to the Second City. Most all of the buildings and landscape of the 1893 Columbian Exposition were designed to be temporary and are gone, with the exception of the rebuild building now housing the Museum of Science and Industry. Temporary structures is not unique to us, as the stadium from the 1996 Summer Olympics became Turner Field in Atlanta.

I hope this is not completely a case of history repeating itself. Granted, Chicago is a city that believes it has to continually improve and in some cases reinvent itself, which is part of the reason I live here! I only hope that in the planning of changes to the city, consideration is made to develop some structures that, long after 2016, are blatant, lasting symbols that the world came to Chicago to compete. The spirit of the Olympics would build leading up to the event, but those symbols would make it last a lot longer.

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