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University Plans to Demolish Ronald Reagan’s Childhood Home

Via The American Spectator:

Reagan’s father, Jack… got a job at the big Fair Store on Chicago’s south side, thinking his career would take off there. [The family] rented a cold-water flat in a four-story apartment building at 832 East 57th Street in the Hyde Park neighborhood. Young “Dutch” Reagan (that was his nickname from birth until he moved to Hollywood in 1937) had his first memories in that flat. In a letter years later, he writes about the thrill of seeing horses pulling the fire wagon down the street at a gallop. February 6 that year marked his fourth birthday. While living in Chicago he also nearly died from a serious case of pneumonia.

The building the Reagans lived in is about to be demolished. The land now belongs to the University of Chicago’s Medical Center and the plan is to replace it with a grassy strip bordering what will be a new parking lot.

The Commission on Chicago Landmarks turned down an appeal to give the building landmark status on the grounds that it “does not have sufficient architectural significance” and “is not associated with Mr. Reagan during his active and productive years.” As to the first reason, the building is a good example of vernacular architecture of the era. As to the second, this site, along with all the other places the 40th president lived in as a boy, figured in the development of his character (his political philosophy came later) and thus is important to understanding this very significant president.

If this were the childhood home of Barack Obama, do you think there is any way the University of Chicago would be planning to tear it down?

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