by Ben Joravsky
That is, I won a bet.
Basically, for several weeks this fall, I searched the city for someone, anyone, willing to take my bet that there was no way Rahm would landmark Prentice and thus keep Northwestern from tearing it down.
I finally found a sucker—I mean, person—willing to take the other side. For the sake of sparing her undue embarrassment, I will not reveal her name.
Other than that her first name rhymes with Me-anna and her last name rhymes with Eye-zik.
Besides that, no names!
In her defense, Ms. Eye-zik was not naive enough to believe that the mayor actually gave a shit about that building or the issue of preservation at all. I don't think anyone believes that, other than the boys and girls in the City Hall press office.
Instead, Ms. Eye-zik took the position that the mayor didn't want to be embarrassed by looking like the nitwit who destroyed a world-class building by a world-class architect.
I took the position that Mayor Rahm was mentally and physically incapable of resisting an opportunity to curry favor from a large and influential institution like Northwestern, whose board members can now be counted on to kiss his mayoral booty every time he bends over to pick up a pen.
Well, as you know by now, I won the bet. The mayor came up with some nonsensical explanation as to why he had to let Northwestern demolish Prentice. Here, read all about it in a brilliant article written by the great Deanna Isaacs, who deserves some kind of journalistic award for her coverage of this sham, and may or may not bear some relation to the aforementioned Me-anna Eye-zik.
But before I get too carried away with myself, I have to confess that even I didn't realize just how nakedly jaded our mayor really is.
I now know thanks to a nifty article in the Northwestern student paper by a kid named Marshall Cohen. In that article, Northwestern president Morton Schapiro let down his hair, so to speak, telling Cohen about a meeting he had with Mayor Emanuel over the summer.
"The mayor asked, 'What are you guys going to do, are you going to have an offensive?'" Schapiro said. "He said he was getting inundated with letters. He was just saying these guys [the preservationists] are very aggressive and spending a lot of money."
In other words, the mayor was advising Schapiro to hire a PR firm and get out the message to give him, the mayor, the cover he needed to do what he had already decided to do. Pimp for Northwestern!
If there's a blessing in this, it's this . . .
Preservationists now know where they stand in the mayor's view of the world, which is somewhere on the lower rungs of the ladder just below public school teachers and certain Reader writers.