Conservative media pundits this week erupted in disbelief that the University of Chicago allegedly plans to demolish and pave
paradise Ronald Reagan's "boyhood" Chicago home and put up a parking lot for an Obama presidential library instead.
The story, which originated one week ago with this report in The Washington Times, made its way to The Drudge Report, Fox News and other right-leaning media outlets, as well as British tabloid The Daily Mail.
Too bad the report is entirely based on speculation, according to a university spokesperson.
"832 E. 57th St. is one of a number of vacant buildings the University owns that will be taken down to allow for expansion of the medical and biological research campus," Jeremy Manier, the university's news director wrote in an e-mail to Mother Jones. "The University's permit request currently is under review by the city. Recent media reports that have speculated on other potential uses of the property are inaccurate."
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, too, weighed in on the matter via Twitter:
To those chasing the @mailonline "scoop" about alleged Obama library parking lot - stand down. The report is false. Shocking, I know.
— Jay Carney (EOP) (@PressSec) January 30, 2013
Last year, reports emerged the university planned to tear down the walls of the six-flat apartment building Reagan called home for 10 months as a four-year-old. While some preservationists have fought to halt the demolition and hope to see it turned into another Reagan museum, the city's Commission on Chicago Landmarks already ruled that it fails to qualify as a landmark as it holds no architectural significance and is not associated with the 40th president's productive years.
Reagan's own son Michael Reagan, the Capitol Fax notes, isn't particularly lathered up about the reports, it would appear. He tweeted Wednesday that other Illinois homes more relevant to his father's legacy are already landmarked.
Chicago Home didnt mean squat to my father.Please do supoort his boyhood home I do and so did my father.nps.gov/nr/travel/pres…
— Michael Reagan (@ReaganWorld) January 30, 2013
Though the University of Chicago is, in fact, among a number of parties interested in playing host to an Obama presidential library, the Obama administration has yet to select whether such a library may be built in Chicago, the president's hometown, or Hawaii, his birth state.