I have followed the saga of the proposed 28-story high-rise in the heart of Oak Park with great interest. Having attended the Golub presentation to the community in late November and to the Unity Temple congregation in mid-December, I have considered its impact on the community.
I admit that I happily live in a capitalist-leaning society; have benefited from this system; and understand the drive for profit and the balance to find mutual benefit. I am not opposed to development of the property across from Oak Park's front lawn [Scoville Park].
However, I am puzzled by the sentiments of insecurity expressed by many Oak Parkers in the present debate. I am reminded of the familiar story that runs through many of our tales of the young woman who is eager to choose a suitor to marry. She meets a young man of means, and, at least on the outside, he seems to be a nice enough fellow. He certainly makes some intriguing, if somewhat vague, promises. But he is a bit pushy, self-centered, and his fit into her family makes the clan uncomfortable. A voice inside of her whispers that maybe this is the best that she can get and she should take his offer of marriage.
But, as the story goes, we hope that she can decide with self-worth and self-confidence: "I am pretty. People like me and my caring personality. I have so much to offer in the right relationship. Surely there are other suitors who would be drawn to me for the same reasons as this fellow! If he really wants me, he will change for me as he asks me to change for him. If he does not, then 'there are plenty of fish in the sea,' and I will wait for a more suitable match!"
Oak Park is a beautiful village with great amenities and easy access to Chicago. We have so much to offer to the right developer from which we can all benefit. I encourage our trustees to confidently hold out for a better fit.
Stephen Kelley, FAIA, SE
Answer Book 2018
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