Green space, open-air market are better options than keeping Loop skyscrapers

We have an opportunity to be proactive and allow the community to engage with federal agencies now to use that space for its best and highest purpose.

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The Consumers Building, 220 S State St., (left), and the Century Building (right), 202 S. State St., would be demolished by the federal government as part of a security plan for the neighboring Dirksen Federal Building. 

The Consumers Building, 220 S State St., (left), and the Century Building (right), 202 S. State St., would be demolished by the federal government as part of a security plan for the neighboring Dirksen Federal Building.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Regarding Lee Bey’s column from April 3, “A federal case: U.S. government shouldn’t wreck Loop skyscrapers in the name of safety”: The buildings at 202 and 220 South State Street have been vacant for well over a decade. The General Services Administration has made the determination to allow these building to lie vacant, and with the support of numerous federal agencies who have deemed them to be a security threat to other nearby federal buildings, they will remain so. Their position will not change with time, and the buildings will continue to lie vacant in perpetuity until they become a safety hazard, at which point they will be demolished.

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Rather than allow decades to pass and continue to see that part of State Street suffer both commercially and residentially because of this dead space, we have an opportunity to be proactive and allow the community to engage with the agencies now to use that space for its best and highest purpose.

The area surrounding the buildings has changed over the years. There are no longer just businesses inhabiting this corridor. Families have moved downtown, and a true community has evolved. With that, so has a need for open space. Demolition is inevitable, and green space and possibly an open-air market would be a far better use for a vibrant community than a dead strip of State Street inviting crime and violence.

A living city needs to grow. Input on this needs to be gathered from residents, the Chicago Loop Neighbors Association, the Loop Alliance, and Ald. Brendan Reilly’s office.

Shannon Gross, Loop

Give statues to the Italians

The fact that the city’s monuments committee has recommended not to publicly display the Christopher Columbus statues on city property is reason to allow the statues to be given to the Italian community.

Casa Italia, Stone Park’s 17-acre center for Italian culture, heritage, and historical preservation, is the perfect solution. Located near Lake Street and Mannheim Road, Casa Italia is home to many Italian organizations, the Italian American Veterans Museum, and the Florence Bartolomei Roselli Library, along with several museums dedicated to different regions of Italy and Sicily. It also provides translation and Italian related services.

The statues would be a welcome addition and would be given the respect and historical recognition the Italian community feels they so richly deserve.

CJ Martello, Pullman

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