Come Fly with Me
Perhaps the only thing more baffling than the midnight pillaging of Meigs Field is the fact that the City is now going to likely spend more money contesting the FAA fine than the amount of the fine itself is actually for. I don't know, maybe they figured that they hadn't gotten enough bad press on this issue. Don't get me wrong, I love green space as much as the next person, and then some. And before you say that I'm acting in self-interest, let me tell you that I drive to Springfield, not fly. But the airport should have stayed put.
I have a lot of childhood memories of watching planes take off and land downtown and think that Meigs was a gem on the lakefront. Plus, at a time when we are fighting to keep and attract conventions, it didn't really seem to make sense to do away with what was viewed by the business community as a great perk and convenience of doing business in Chicago.
But everything else aside, how the hell can it not look bad to rip up an airport in the middle of the night, while shining a truck-mounted light to blind the nearby camera to keep the public from seeing what was transpiring? If they wanted the land for park space, notwithstanding the additional acreage picked up by Millenium Park and the Soldier Field redesign, say so. And even if you wanted it to prevent an aerial assault by a fleet of Cessnas, then make that argument to City Council. (On an aside, in what other City would the Council stand aside and not say boo about something of this magnitude?) Many things may be best done in the middle of the night, tearing up an airport is not one of them.