Reagan Boyhood Home Threatened
By Margaret Foster | Online Only | Feb. 22, 2011
As the nation celebrates the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth this month, the Chicago apartment building where Reagan lived for one year appears slated for demolition.
The University of Chicago, which bought the Hyde Park building in 2004 and moved tenants out last year, plans to use the site to expand its campus. No demolition-permit application has been filed, and it's unclear when the university will tear down the building. University spokesman Jeremy Manier had no comment.
Reagan (1911-2004) lived in one of the building's six flats from 1914 until 1915.
"I was a little shocked when I heard that it was slated to be torn down," says State Rep. Jerry Mitchell (R-Sterling), who chairs the Illinois Reagan Centennial Commission. "It could be worth a lot to [the university] in terms of tourism."
For example, Mitchell says, the Reagan Birthplace and Museum in Tampico, Ill., and the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home and Visitors Center in Dixon, Ill., are popular tourist attractions, especially in recent years. "It's been like a pilgrimage for his 100th birthday," Mitchell says. "The interest in Reagan will increase as time goes by. We're doing everything we can as a committee to preserve all the Reagan memorabilia we can for people down the road to remember this president."
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