Chicago’s mayor, city leaders push to protect tourist attraction ‘jewel’ after fatal shooting at Millennium Park
CHICAGO (CBS) — City Hall is wasting no time laying out changes, specificallyand pushing for new ways to protect people and the image of Millennium Park.
CBS 2’s Chris Tye has a closer look at why crimes on that piece of property hit differently than anywhere else in the city.
The mayor put it this way: doing nothing is not an option. Because when it comes to Chicago tourism and recovering from the financial disaster of the pandemic, protecting that parcel of land is critical.
(start promo video with courtesy)
Count to three. That’s how many seconds it takes for “The Bean” and Millennium Park to appear in videos Chicago uses to promote itself. The 24 acres of land that fuel Chicago’s tourism engine like nothing else.
“Millennium Park is so much a part of the social and cultural fabric of our city. It is the number one tourist destination in the Midwest,” said Erin Harkey from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
Over the weekend, that fabric and the area around the 121 tons of stainless steel were stained.
“Meant to be a jewel for the city, but is now stained by the blood of yet another youth in our city,” said Bishop Edward Peecher.
“We have to end this pipeline of young people to the graveyard,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
That pipeline usually bypasses the well-manicured grounds. Where a feel of safety comes as much from police presence as the steady stream of people, all ages, races and genders. Faces from places reflected in the Crown Fountain.
“The Bean” is actually titled “Cloud Gate” a name given by its sculptor, Anish Kapoor. Its most fundamental attribute is that of reflection maker. And it’s reflecting a grim reality in Chicago.
Mayor Lightfoot puts it this way:
“Here on planet earth, in reality, we have a crisis in our city.”
And when the crisis hits the crown jewel, when the blood is reflected in “The Bean” it’s a crime that hits different. No more or less devastating than crimes in the neighborhoods.
So the rules tighten more quickly when the crime happens here. Why?
“To make sure that our jewel of Millennium Park is available and open to everyone,” Lightfoot said.
The head of the Chicago Loop Alliance put it this way: The Loop is everyone’s neighborhood. Everyone should feel safe, saying the safety of the loop is critical for the city’s economic recovery.