MUSEUM CAMPUS — The Grant Park Conservancy and the Metropolitan Planning Council are seeking ideas from the public on how to "rebrand Museum Campus as its own destination" at two public meetings, conservancy President Bob O'Neill said.
The goal is to "to come up with a framework plan for the whole Museum Campus" that coincides with construction of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts and a Jeanne Gang-designed bridge connecting Northerly Island to the museum mainland, O'Neill said.
Tuesday's meeting, hosted by the Metropolitan Planning Council, is the start of a six-month planning process featuring multiple calls for ideas from the public. The open house from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday at 140 S. Dearborn St., Suite 1400, will focus specifically on transportation ideas for Museum Campus's overhaul.
The Grant Park Conservancy will also host a public forum the following Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the Spertus Institute at 610 S. Michigan Ave.
Ideas submitted on the Metropolitan Planning Council's brainstorming website include a light rail system, streetcars circling the campus and ticketing kiosks to alleviate long lines.
Lizzie Schiffman Tufano says all ideas are welcome during the brainstorming phase:
One suggestion for an improved pedestrian experience on Roosevelt Road is already underway.
The community input process mirrors the meetings that preceded the last Museum Campus strategic redesign in the mid-1990s.
Tuesday's meeting will include a presentation of ideas currently in the mix, followed by breakout sessions for attendees to comment on existing plans and suggest alternatives.
The top priorities are expected to be simplifying bus, cyclist and pedestrian access from the Loop and South Loop to the Museum Campus, and improving transportation between destinations within the property, O'Neill said.
"With the Lucas Museum going in, with Northerly Island opening up and the other four institutions out there, there will be soon be six institutions, and there needs to be a new plan to get everyone working together to get people there."
O'Neill said other institutions on the Museum Campus are launching their own face-lifts as well, including the Field Museum, which is working behind the scenes to make the 93-year-old facility's operations more environmentally friendly.
The "rebranding" also coincides with a 40-acre Northerly Island nature reserve that's set to be completed in 2017.
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