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     Could we do this any worse in America? Behold: childhood development completely subordinated to the project of free parking in Naperville, Ill. What’s even more astounding: it’s the “play lot” for a Montessori “academy,” which stresses freedom-of-movement in educational activities. Wikipedia says of Montessori education: “The model has two basic principles. First, children and developing adults engage in psychological self-construction by means of interaction with their environments. Second, children, especially under the age of six, have an innate path of psychological development.”

    Let’s hope they can overcome the effects of their “play” environment.

    Submitted for your approval by correspondent Tim Moyer who writes:  “The school is not in a congested urban location – rather, it’s in my corner of exurban Chicago sprawl. Ironically, there are vast intramural fields just beyond the large dumpster/fence at the public middle school…. I “like” other details in the image: the orange pylon; the frightening overhead infrastructure; the deathly black paint/tar/rubber chips (sure to be scalding hot in July.”

About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

20 Responses to “April 2017”

  1. My Point of View April 2, 2017 at 11:14 pm #

    That sweltering play-penitentiary is at the Mehar Montessori Academy which backs up to Thayer J. Hill Middle School.

    • former brookdaler May 9, 2017 at 11:49 pm #

      amazing. i went to Hill, and lived on the same street. was not a bad place then (80s) but like the rest of the ‘Nape it became an overbuilt hellhole.

      oh and i still have a scar from wiping out doing laps around the parking lot, on the pavement, for gym class. good times.

  2. SvrzoH April 3, 2017 at 10:12 am #

    For a moment, one thinks that this is nothing but some freak photoshop exercise.
    It simply can not be that bad.

  3. Daphne DeMuir April 3, 2017 at 11:13 am #

    Actually it says everything you need to know about the town of Naperville, which used to be a little cross roads place and exploded into one that routinely wins the top “family friendly” awards. See below for the make up of the town. I live next door in Aurora, which is basically the opposite, with 99% poverty on the near east side and 65% poverty on the west side. Both places are basically useless when it comes to public transportation, which is why I will be leaving soon. People live in Naperville for the public school system. Aurora, which was pretty much deluged by illegal immigrants in the ’80s, 90’s and aughts, has very low rated public schools except on it’s far east side, which borders Naperville. This is a fact. If we had gotten a similar number of hillbillies the same thing would have happened. To their credit, our immigrants seem to move up on to the middle class in just one generation. The Catholic/private school system picks up lots of students from middle class families, which is why we still have middle class families at all. In west Aurora they come for the great housing stock but most do not send their kids to public schools. The entire Fox Valley area sports lots and lots of empty big box stores, even in towns that are low poverty.

    Race and Hispanic Origin
    White alone, percent, July 1, 2015, (V2015) (a)
    White alone, percent, April 1, 2010 (a)
    Black or African American alone, percent, July 1, 2015, (V2015) (a)
    Black or African American alone, percent, April 1, 2010 (a)
    American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent, July 1, 2015, (V2015) (a)
    American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent, April 1, 2010 (a)
    Asian alone, percent, July 1, 2015, (V2015) (a)
    Asian alone, percent, April 1, 2010 (a)
    Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent, July 1, 2015, (V2015) (a)
    Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent, April 1, 2010 (a)

    • Ishabaka April 7, 2017 at 4:20 pm #

      It’s funny, I’ve lived in North America, Europe, and Asia – no country on Earth obsesses so much about race, and bangs the “diversity” drum so much at the same time.

  4. retired guy April 3, 2017 at 3:37 pm #

    Your first thought is probably, “is this a joke?” Some bureaucrats and/or elected officials in Napierville had to approve the construction of this dreary, depressing, soulless abomination. It isn’t really part of a Montessori school, is it? I sure hope not. Can you even picture children playing there? What is wrong with society? This is so disheartening.

  5. mrayers April 3, 2017 at 9:59 pm #

    How thoughtful it was for someone to leave that orange cone in front of the entrance. Surely that will prevent a young student from being flattened beneath the tires of some vehicle whose occupant is rushing to obtain that last great parking space. :-/

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  6. jayrome April 4, 2017 at 6:27 am #

    How dismal can they get? Well. . .this is an example of an idea of a play space? Maybe this a way to characterize the wee ones in a petting zoo format. Tot Feed Lot me thinks? Astounding!
    I think Maria Montessori would retch out her gut then scrub off her name attached to this school of mind numbing.
    Somebody please rescue those children out of this dismal stock pen.
    Are you sure this isn’t a training site for raising future slaves to work in the hive?
    I guess nobody asked the question of “What About the Children?” Could this place be considered a hate crime? And people pay money for this amenity?

    • Hughie the Sailor April 4, 2017 at 7:17 am #

      Can you imagine in our climate changing world, how ungodly hot this would be in the summer? In the middle of an asphalt desert? Kind of like “The Box” featured in “Cool Hand Luke.”

  7. Hughie the Sailor April 4, 2017 at 7:09 am #

    This is depressing. They build a similar structure in my town. The ground’s covered with mats made out of used truck tires. They stink and are stupid-hot in the summer. Last year a local gentleman chose this site to shuffle off the mortal coil via shotgun, perhaps in a spirit of community service as they had to shut down and move the horror post factum.

  8. badberries April 4, 2017 at 9:31 pm #

    What’s the matter with you people? Kids don’t need grass and trees and room to run anymore, get ’em used to living behind bars early.!
    Polizei Staat Amerika needs the next generation to give up quickly and obediently. First to FEMA re-education and the losers off to the Soylent Brine vats.
    At least it isn’t right next to the sewage lagoon.

  9. Yuri Sowryteski April 8, 2017 at 11:20 pm #

    Looks like the best preparation possible for the high school I went to – North Central, Indianapolis, Indiana. Class of ’73.

  10. Hoyt April 10, 2017 at 1:59 pm #

    I look forward to this wonderful, monthly LOL. What about expanding it to include runner-ups? Or, evolving towards the Eyesore of the Week? There is an endless parade of guffaw-worthy eyesores out there!

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  11. lateStarter April 10, 2017 at 2:37 pm #

    I wouldn’t even leave my dogs there for 30 minutes. It looks like something Walmart would do to show how family-friendly they are.

  12. My Point of View April 16, 2017 at 3:22 pm #

    For a future Eyesore I nominate whatever it is they did to the Peterson Automotive Museum in L.A. Apparently one of the requirements for a degree in architecture or design is a course in creative uses for LSD.


  13. Phutatorius April 21, 2017 at 10:09 am #

    There’s a very similar “playground” to the one pictured in a fenced off area of the potholed parking lot of a strip mall next to an on-ramp to SB US-127. It’s connected to a day care center.

  14. kevinb May 8, 2017 at 12:50 pm #

    Jim…I know you are not necessarily looking to take requests…but I wish you would show this sort of stuff as opposed to what the starchitects are designing. These sort of designs are all over this country, put in place by cities and other entities on the cheap, and I would be willing to bet nobody really thinks anything about the effects of this.

    Lets put a playground in a middle of parking lot, surrounded by hot asphalt and a cage, and underneath power lines, and then wonder why kids need adhd medicine.

    • kevinb May 8, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

      also just realized the dumpster nearby…bet this smells great on a hot summer day


  1. Il pugno nell’occhio (i) | Kelebek Blog - May 31, 2018

    […] la serie con questo parco giochi (di una Montessori Academy, nientemeno) nella periferia suburbana di Chicago. Veramente non ci […]

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