As a land transfer to support the University of Chicago's bid for the Obama Presidential Library goes in front of the full city council today, a new Los Angeles Times article suggests that controversies over presidential libraries are nearly as old as the concept itself. The last two that have been built both created controversy over land disputes. Southern Methodist University eventually used eminent domain to force owners to sell their condos to make way for the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas, and in Little Rock, a nearly five-year court battle eventually gave the Clinton library rights to riverfront land.
While those buildings both required lengthy legal battles, the Reagan and Carter libraries may have had it worse. Carter's Atlanta plans, which included creating a Presidential Parkway that ran through Olmsted Linear Park, brought on protestors called "roadblockers," and when the Reagan library announced plans to located in Palo Alto, liberal protestors made so much noise that the institution was eventually relocated to Simi Valley.
·Chicago land feud over Obama presidential library plan reflects familiar history [Los Angeles Times]
·Previous Obama Library coverage [Curbed Chicago]