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article imageReagan's early home to make way for Obama's library parking lot?

By JohnThomas Didymus     Jan 31, 2013 in Politics
Chicago - Claims that the childhood home of former President Ronald Reagan at 832 E. 57th Street in Chicago is slated for demolition and conversion into a parking lot for President Obama's library has sparked some controversy.
Conspiracy theories are making the rounds that the plan is part of a liberal establishment plot to erase reminders of the conservative icon in the Chicago
The Daily Mail reports that Reagan wrote with fond memories about his childhood home in Chicago.
The University of Chicago recently purchased the apartment building and announced plans to demolish it and make it a parking lot. While the university did not say that the parking lot would serve Obama's library, The Washington Times reports that the University of Chicago recently began lobbying to become the site for President Obama's proposed library, leading to the somewhat tenuous conclusion that the parking lot would serve President Obama's library.
Reagan fans are saying that the plan is part of a plot by the liberal establishment in Chicago to erase all traces and reminders of Reagan, a prominent conservative figure in the city.
The Washington Times columnist William Kelly promotes the conspiracy theory, arguing that the move to demolish the house was politically motivated and that Mayor Rahm Emmanuel was "behind the move." The Washington Times columnist claims:
"Some powerful Chicagoans are planning to demolish Reagan’s historic home.
"While the university is planning to kill Reagan’s home, University of Chicago is also aggressively lobbying to be the site of President Barack Obama’s presidential library. Could the Reagan site become a parking lot for Obama’s library?... There is good reason.. to be suspicious.
"First Lady Michelle Obama and the president’s close advisor Valerie Jarrett are former top executives of the University of Chicago Medical Center. President Obama was a lecturer at the law school for twelve years. And let’s not forget, Obama’s Hyde Park home is here too.
"It is safe to say that Democrats don’t want any reminders of a Republican president named Reagan and his glory days a stone’s throw from a future Obama Presidential Library.
"Better to raze the building now, than later. But do they have the right to erase Ronald Reagan from Chicago history?"
The rumors come after the Commission on Chicago Landmarks denied Reagan's childhood home landmark status, the Daily Mail reports.
In reaction to protests from those who consider that the apartment should be preserved, University of Chicago officials said that a plaque was sufficient to commemorate the space as Reagan's former residence, a statement that only struck Reagan fans as irreverent.
White House Denise rumor
Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, has denied the rumors as false. Carney wrote in a tweet: "The report is false. Shocking, I know."
The Washington Times reported that earlier in the month, the residence was granted a temporary stay from demolition, but it may begin very soon.
State Rep. Jerry Mitchell, who chairs the Illinois Reagan Centenary Commission, thinks it would be a big mistake to pull down the house. He said the university could make a good income if they renovate the house for visitors.
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