Will the Real Millennium Park Please Stand Up?

0507millparks.jpg

Our world is spinning because we just discovered we are right in the thick of a controversy that we had no knowledge of whatsoever (and probably neither does anyone else, which is good reason to bring up this red hot scandal). We randomly stumbled across this interview with landscape architect Olaniyi Kehinde which is entitled “How I Coined the Name Millennium Park.” The Millennium Park he’s talking about here is the one in the city of Abuja in Nigera. Being in Chicago, where the other (see: “real”) Millennium Park exists, reading that this smart aleck was claiming he’d come up with the name immediately made this writer raise his fisticuffs. That’s our park! You can’t claim “I suggested that since there was a new Millennium coming why don’t we call it Millennium Park and everybody agreed” because we already have one of those! Get your own name! But then, instead of this writer’s usual style of flying off the handle without doing any real research, we decided to lower the temper for a second and see what we could find. Turns out, the Abuja Millennium Park opened in 2003. Ours had its opening night a year later, in 2004. So are we the true thieves here? And does it matter that we started ours back in 1997? When did they start theirs? We can’t find an answer anywhere, yet we demand closure! Who is the real name swindler here? Who should rightfully be forced to change their name to Y2K Park? If you have the facts, let us know. In the interim, please read that interview with Olaniyi Kehinde because it’s really interesting, shows how landscape architects and city planners can make a difference, and it will make us feel better if you do after we’ve spent the last three hundred words picking on this one trivial detail. Thank you for your time.