Thursday, April 27, 2017

Two "Shred Days" Upcoming

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Did Spring Cleaning and/or Tax Day leave you with a bunch of paper that needs to go? Help is available!
  • On Saturday, April 29th, there will be a "personal paper" Community Shred Day in the Jewel parking lot at 4250 North Lincoln. It's sponsored by Ald. Pawar and Rep. Greg Harris. Show up at the north end of the parking lot between 9am and noon with your shreddables. Be sure to remove staples, paper clips, binding, etc. You can call Rep. Harris's Chicago office with any questions, at 773-348-3434.
  • On Saturday, May 13th, North Side Federal Savings & Loan will hold a Shred Day in the parking lot behind its Foster/Clark location. Hours are 9am-noon. Bring your paper and manila file folders (up to five cases per person), but no binders, plastic, cardboard, or other non-paper products can be accepted. No need to remove staples, paper/binder clips, or rubber bands.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Date Set For Sheridan Park Community Yard Sale

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The annual Sheridan Park Yard Sale will be held the second weekend of August (12th/13th) this year. Spread the word!

If you are interested in participating, please email with your address and the names of participants in your building!

There is plenty of time for reminders, but mark your calendars!

5 Story, 24 Unit Condo TOD Proposed Near Clark & Wilson

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Longford's proposed TOD for 4537 N. Clark (Stoneberg & Gross Architects)
One story retail currently at 4537 N. Clark (Google)
The Longford Group is proposing a 5 story, 24 unit condo building at 4537 N. Clark. The development would replace a one story retail building. Retail spaces would remain on the first floor with 4 floors of residences above. The developer is requesting a zoning change from C1-2 to a B3-3 Transit Oriented Development (TOD). The ever-important question of how much parking is proposed is 24 parking spaces for 24 units, 1 to 1. The full proposal is on Ald. Cappleman's website.

The development will be discussed at the next Sheridan Park Neighbors Association Meeting at Courtenay Language Arts Elementary School on May 2 at 7PM. 

A CAPS Meeting will precede the developer's presentation at 6:30PM.

Race To Wrigley Means Early Saturday Morning Road Closures Near Uptown

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If you're an early bird who's out and about Saturday morning, there will be some road closures adjacent to Buena Park for the Race To Wrigley 5K. The good news is, most of the streets will reopen by 9:30am.

Roads will be closed to both parking and traffic. Below are the list of street closures; we've highlighted the ones that might make travel "challenging" in and around Uptown:
  • Clark Street from Grace Street to Sheffield Avenue
  • Addison Street from Sheffield to Ravenswood avenues
  • Ravenswood Avenue from Addison Street to Irving Park Road
  • Irving Park Road from Ravenswood to Southport avenues (eastbound)
  • Southport Avenue from Irving Park Road to Belle Plaine Avenue
  • Belle Plaine Avenue from Southport Avenue to Clark Street
  • Clark Street from Belle Plaine Avenue to Irving Park Road
  • Irving Park Road from Clark Street to Sheridan Road
  • Sheridan Road and Sheffield Avenue from Irving Park Road to Addison Street

CPD's Watching Out For Distracted Driving On The Drive

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Hey, it's the first ever Illinois Distracted Driving Week! If you text or talk while you drive on the Drive, they're spotlighting you.

The CPD's press release says:

"Until April 28th, the Chicago Police Department will be conducting Distracted Driving Missions all along Lake Shore Drive. The goal of these missions is to educate motorists on all aspects of Distracted Driving through strict enforcement for those found to be using a handheld device while operating a motor vehicle.

Additional enforcement will also focus on speed violations that go hand and hand with distracted driving.

Distracted Driving Missions are funded by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) and administered through the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)."

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Burglars Tell You How To Stay Safe From Burglars

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Seeking Teens For Summer Acting Gig

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Photo courtesy of Green Scene Chicago
Do you know a teen who's looking for a summer job and loves to perform? Green Scene Chicago and The Winthrop Harmony Arts Garden (4919 N Winthrop) are looking for six theater ensemble members. Those selected will earn $10/hour for approximately 68 hours of creative employment between May and August.

"Hiring 6 teens to be the theater ensemble that creates and performs a children’s play: “The Three Sisters Tale.” (Working Title) This tale is an Iroquois legend that imparts the wisdom of planting corn, beans, and squash (three sisters) together.

We will use living plants as the scenery for this show and grow them starting in May at the Winthrop Harmony Arts Garden in Uptown, Chicago. We will create the play through writing and improvisation.

The play will have 6 performances in the garden where we plant and tour to two other gardens. It will joyfully teach younger children in the audiences about nutrition.
  • Dates of employment: Approx 68 hrs, May-Aug
  • Creating and planting set and show: Saturdays, 5/20-8/5, 10am-2pm
  • Rehearsals: Aug 6, 7, 8 & 9, 3-7pm (please note, addt'l rehearsals may be called)
  • Performances: Aug 10, 11 & 12, 10am-7pm (3 shows/day - exact show times TBA) All hours subject to slight changes.
Please visit for more info. To contact Martie, email"

Burglary Gang Hits Uptown, Lincoln Park Stores

A group of burglars have robbed at least three stores in the past week, including one in Uptown twice. Their M.O. is to break in when the businesses are closed, entering through a window they have broken, and helping themselves to cigarettes, and money in the cash register.
  • In Uptown, they burgled the convenience store on the 4100 block of Clarendon twice in a row: at approximately 6am on Thursday, April 20th, and again Friday night, April 21, sometime between 10pm and 5:30am. 
  • In Lincoln Park, they hit a store in the 2500 block of Lincoln on Saturday morning at 5:45am and one in the 2600 block of Clybourn on Sunday morning between 6am and 6:30am.
Police describe them as three black men, 25-30 years old, 5'10" to 6' tall, and weighing 185-200 pounds. They may be driving a dark grey Dodge wagon with a broken passenger side window.

If you see or hear anything suspicious, please call 9-1-1 immediately. If you have any information about the burglaries, please call the Area North detectives at (312) 744-8263.

Monday, April 24, 2017

ANOTHER Wilson Avenue Storefront Getting A Tenant?

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1217 W. Wilson at the SE corner of Wilson & Magnolia
Looks like another retail space on Wilson will soon be filled.

An eagle-eyed reader spotted the "FOR LEASE" signs down in the windows of 1217 W. Wilson, which previously was the home of Luna Spa & Salon.
A quick check of the real estate listing for the site shows "PENDING." Once we know more, we will pass it along.

Help Day For Property Tax Appeals

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All of Uptown is in Lakeview Township. Even if you can't make this particular Help Day, be aware that the last day appeals will be accepted is May 10, 2017.  According to Joseph Berrios's website, assessment notices were mailed 4/10/17.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sweet Talk

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Rumor has it that a bakery is interested in opening at the former 7-11 storefront at Buena and Broadway. We have no definite information at this point, but a reliable source says it's in the works. We'll let you know more, if and when it happens.

CTA To Build New Track This Weekend; Broadway Closed Saturday/Sunday

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Wonderful news! The c. 1907 elevated tracks that ran over Broadway and loomed over the entrance to the Gerber Building for 110 years are now completely down. (See photo below). So what's next? Building new tracks!

CTA says, "We will have crews working this Saturday and Sunday, 6am-6pm each day, using a crane set up on Broadway to set steel north of Wilson.

Broadway between Wilson and Clifton will be shut down to vehicles starting at 6am on Saturday and will open back up to vehicular traffic Sunday at 6pm. The west sidewalk of Broadway will be closed as a safety precaution.

There will be noise, dust, and heavy equipment in the area as a result of this work."

Friday, April 21, 2017

Historic Corner Building At Sheridan & Irving To Undergo Restoration

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The SW corner of Sheridan & Irving as we all know it (Google)
The SW corner of Sheridan & Irving in 1936 (IDOT)
The two story vintage building on the SW corner of Sheridan and Irving Park has sure seen better days. This building located at 3948 N. Sheridan got some TLC a few years back but according to building permits, better days are on the way!

Permits show that a restoration of the facade is planned, including adding back the cornice that was removed over the years which is visible in the 1936 IDOT photo above. New lintels, flashing and full tuckpointing are planned as well.

Keep an eye on this building as it is brought back to life.

Bird's Eye View of Montrose/Clarendon

This is what the northwest lot looks like as the Maryville/811 Uptown site evolves from a demolition site to a construction site:

Thank you to Nick Meshes, who posted this on Uptown Update's Facebook page.

Vintage Garage Season Opener On Sunday

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A sure sign of spring: The sixth season of Vintage Garage kicks off on Sunday at 5051 North Broadway.  It's Chicago's only all-vintage market venue for buying and selling classic and antique merchandise, and it happens right here in Uptown.

The season opener will feature a $100 shopping spree raffle. More information and how to enter is here.

Vintage Garage takes place the third Sunday of each month, April through October, in the covered parking structure at 5051 North Broadway. A rain date is never needed! Last year was its biggest year yet, with up to 300 vendors, and there's every indication that this year will be another record-breaker.

The hours are 10am to 5pm, and admission is $5. You can buy a season pass for $50 that will get you in early, at 9:30, and advance tickets to avoid the line. For more about Vintage Garage, check out its website here.

Here are the dates and themes for this year's events:
  • April 23 (Season Opener)
  • May 21 (Midcentury Modern)
  • June 18 (Record Ramp)
  • July 16 (Rockabilly and Vintage Clothing)
  • August 20 (Vintage Wedding)
  • September 17 (Retro Chicago)
  • October 15 (Record Ramp/Season Finale)
Happy bargain hunting!

Longacre Pizza Box Opening Imminent

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If you have been anxiously waiting for the next concept from the Kalish family to open, your wait is almost over. A business license was issued yesterday for Longacre Chicago/ Longacre Pizza Box at 1309 W. Wilson and they passed the city's inspection. The website is partially up, with a cool video of pizza being prepared in the background hinting at what to expect in the space. The branding leads us to believe that "Longacre" will fill the former Baker & Nosh spaces at 1303, 1305, and 1307 with a dine-in concept. The 1309 W. Wilson is space reserved specifically for the carry-out "Longacre Pizza Box" with a cozy dine-in area. Once we get an official opening date for Longacre Pizza Box, we will pass it along!

It's an exciting time in retail on Wilson Avenue for sure.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Shots Fired Tonight At Lawrence & Sheridan (Updated)

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This post has been updated to reflect more detailed and accurate information received in the past few hours:

Shots were fired near Sheridan and Lawrence around 5:40 this evening.  A reader took this photo of a driver whose back car window was shot out -- no injuries except glass nicks to his neck, which is pretty miraculous.

Earlier today, around 3pm, there was more commotion at Lawrence and Sheridan, with an ambulance on the scene, but no reports of any victims.

What is particularly troubling about the time and location of today's incidents is the close proximity of Alternatives, McCutcheon School, Buttercup Park, and the Boys & Girls Club, all of which are teeming with kids, especially in the warm weather we experienced earlier.

We are grateful that this driver was not hurt more seriously.

Beat 2024 CAPS meets on the third Thursday of each even-numbered month at the Margate Park Fieldhouse. That is tonight. If someone attended, can they please email us at and let us know if these incidents were discussed?

From a reader:

"I attended the CAPS meeting last night and yes, the Lawrence/Sheridan shooting was discussed.

There were 3 police officers at the meeting and another (perhaps commander? he had a white shirt - the others had blue) came in several minutes late. He said he was late because of this event. 

The details he shared were that a black male on foot was firing shots aimed south from the northeast corner of Lawrence/Sheridan. They believe he was shooting at another guy who was somewhere on the south side of Lawrence. 

There was a guy in a car northbound on Sheridan waiting to turn east on Lawrence when the shots were fired. His vehicle was hit multiple times and luckily he was not hit. 

The shooter fled east on Lawrence on foot and apparently touched his hand to a window at 910 Lawrence - the police are trying to pull a usable fingerprint from there. Unfortunately the shooter got away."

The Arch Awaits

The Gerber Building at Broadway and Wilson as seen today
The CTA and Walsh Construction are setting their sights on the Gerber Building reconstruction now that most major demolition and track removal has been completed.
We spotted steel beams rising from each side of the main entrance today. These will support the the beautiful arched clock tower that will return for the first time since it was removed in the late 1950s.

The Gerber Building sometime after completion in 1923

#TBT -- Wilson and Broadway, 1972

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Throwback Thursday! The 19th District CAPS office tweeted this picture out a few weeks ago, saying, "The old squad car with the gumball light on top sure dates this one."

It was taken in front of the McJunkin Building, and you can see the one-story retail buildings kitty corner from it had already been built by then. What is now City Sports was Walgreens; Rainbow Shops was York; Family Dollar was Woolworth's; MDT Architects was Thom McAn Shoes; and Elim Wigs was Hillman's grocery store.

Walking Tours Next Week Explore Uptown


Chicago for Chicagoans is sponsoring walking tours of Uptown on four days beginning this Saturday. The two and a half hour tours will begin at the Lawrence Red Line station and will "explore the history, landmarks, and architecture of a neighborhood that's got a story for everyone-- in addition to the tales of secret tunnels, early motion pictures, and legendary jazz musicians, you'll learn about "Hillbilly Harlem," John Dillinger, and the changing face of the neighborhood today. The afternoon will end at Miss Saigon (1129 W Argyle), one of the most delicious spots in the area for Vietnamese Pho."

The tours will take place:
  • Saturday, April 22, 1pm-3:30pm
  • Sunday, April 23, 1pm-3:30pm
  • Thursday, April 27, 6:30pm-9pm
  • Saturday, April 29, 1pm-3:30pm
You can register and find out more information here.  "Please note: Chicago for Chicagoans happily exists as a "pay-what-you-can" tour service. A suggested tip of $10-20 per person is always appreciated, but reviewing us on Yelp, liking us on Facebook, spreading the word, and attending future tours tells us how much you love us too!"

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Man Shot On Clarendon Tuesday Night

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According to readers and the police, a young man was shot at Windsor and Clarendon Tuesday night and is in critical condition. At 9:38, readers report hearing multiple shots fired. Police and an ambulance were quickly on the scene, and police had the building at 4520 taped off while they investigated.

According to the police, the victim is 21 years old and was taken to Illinois Masonic's trauma center.

This is possibly in retaliation for the shooting late Saturday night of a 15-year-old boy who was sitting in a parked car on the 4400 block of Racine. His face was grazed by a bullet.

UU Note: Will the lady who tried to send us a message in the comments please write to us at

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Uptown Library Gets Witchy With Shakespeare On Thursday

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Come see a mash-up of scenes featuring Shakespearean witches -- for free -- performed by Shakespeare's Motley Crew! It takes place at the Uptown Library (929 West Buena) at 6:30pm on Thursday. It's a preview of SMC's summer show, Midsummer Mayhem, and it's all about the ladies this year, with Witches. There will be a discussion afterwards for those interested. The Facebook Event Page is here.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Shots Fired (Idiots' Spring Ritual)

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The past few days, since the weather got nice, the gangbangers are out and trying to settle a whole winter's worth of built-up grudges. If you hear shots fired, call it in! Even if you don't see anything, the cops can figure out where things were happening by the locations given by people calling. The police also figure out where to send resources, ie, cops, based on the number of 911 calls. So, here we have it:
  • Saturday around 6pm, "Closest I've ever been to gunshots. A man in a black mask and grey hoodie walking North on the West side of Magnolia just South of Wilson fired at least five shots near the intersection and then fled South on Magnolia. As far as I saw no one was harmed."
  • Friday night around 10:30pm. Shots were fired around 4616 North Beacon. No one was injured, but a parked car took a bullet.
  • Thursday afternoon around 3pm, a 26-year-old man was shot in the leg after he left McDonald's on Wilson and Sheridan. He has a long list of arrests and is gang affiliated. His prior behavior got him banned from McDonald's property. He entered the store and was told to leave by the security guard. Shortly after leaving the store, four men approached him on the street and shot him. He is in good condition after being taken to the hospital.
We hate this crap. We urge you to keep calling 911, as we do. Go to CAPS. Speak to your aldermen. Speak to your police officers. The aldermen and the cops are doing what they can to work against the gangs, leaning on the housing providers to evict felons from taxpayer-funded housing, and on the businesses to keep them from being de facto gang hangouts. There have been multiple major drug busts in the 46th and 48th Wards. Several of the most notorious gang members have lost their housing in Uptown and others are incarcerated. But -- obviously -- there's still a significant gang presence. Residents need to keep calling 911 and keep up with what's going on to combat it.

There are a lot of youth programs to help keep kids out of gangs. Volunteer at the Boys & Girls Club, at Inspired Youth, at Alternatives, at Christopher House. It won't stop the kids who are already "in the life," but it may help a kid make a smarter decision a little down the road.

Bank Robber On The "TCF Circuit" Strikes Again

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April 14, 2017
March 31, 2017
It's TCF #3 for this guy, according to the FBI.

Friday afternoon around 3:30, he robbed his third TCF Bank located in a Jewel-Osco, this one at Broadway/Cornelia near Wrigley Field. Prior to that, he hit the one at Montrose/Sheridan on March 24th and the Ashland/Oakdale bank on March 30th.

As we mentioned in a previous post, he's working a well-traveled circuit, following in the footsteps of bank robbers Kevin Ross, the Uptown Beach Bandit, the Shady Lady Bandit, and the Benchwarmer Bandit.

The FBI reports that he is not armed, and gets in and out of the banks quickly. He weighs 180-200 lbs., is approximately 6' tall, and is estimated to be 25-35 years old. He has blond facial scruff and keeps his head covered.

The FBI is offering a reward for information leading to his capture. If you can help identify him, please call the FBI's Chicago office at 312-421-6700.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Wilson Station Construction Update

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The upcoming Sunnyside entrance/exit for the Wilson station
Looking north behind Aldi toward Wilson platform
The upcoming Sunnyside entrance/exit to the Wilson L is taking shape quickly. The ramps that will bring customers to and from the platform are in place.

The CTA wanted to let neighbors know of the coming week's construction activity:
"Foundations, demolition (should be the last week of demo), work at station entrances, steel erection (south end of project near Sunnyside working our way north.)

Impacting the community:

Wilson Avenue (from Broadway to Clifton) will be closed down 9am-4pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for work activities at the station entrances.

Leland Avenue (from Broadway to Winthrop) and the alley next to the Clover Building (from Leland to just north of the Clover building) will be closed from now through early May to facilitate foundation installations. These are the last foundations to be installed on the north end of the project.
  • Pedestrians will still be able to pass on Leland.
  • Vehicles will need to enter and exit the alley from the North (Lawrence) during this period."

Join Ainslie-Winmore Block Club On Earth Day

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Join the Ainslie-Winmore Facebook Group here

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Da Crane! Da Crane!


As announced in the contractor's update, a tower crane is being installed at the 811 Uptown (Maryville) site this week. Thank you to reader PF for providing this photo, taken Wednesday afternoon. According to the contractor, a tower crane is quieter, creates zero fuel emissions, and doesn't disrupt traffic the way a traditional mobile crane does.

The building in the background is the Broadway (4343 North Clarendon), designed by Stanley Tigerman. At 28 stories tall, it will be slightly taller than 811 Uptown, which will have 26 stories after it is built. The Broadway has 450 units, as compared to 373 in the completed 811 Uptown building.

Got Books? Friends Of Bezazian Collecting Them This Saturday

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From the Friends of Bezazian Branch Library:

"Are books you'll never read again cluttering your shelves? Bring them to the Friends of Bezazian booth at the WFCW Clean Up, Green Up event on Saturday, April 15, 10am-2pm, at Clark and Carmen. Clean up your home and keep books out of the landfill.

There will be free coffee, the StoryBus and other activities for kids, bike tune-ups, and info about everything from composting to kombucha at this great (free) neighborhood event!

Then keep shelf space open for the new reading material you'll find at our pop-up book sales on July 15 and September 16, 10am-3pm at Bezazian."

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

April Maryville Construction Update Available

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If you'd like to know what's happening with the construction of the former Maryville site, now called "811 Uptown," the contractor does a monthly update on Ald. Cappleman's website. This is what to expect in April (click to enlarge). You can check out the latest 46th Ward newsletter here.

CAPS Beat 1914 Meets Wednesday Evening

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Beat 1914 (the area bordered by the lake, Montrose, Broadway, and Lawrence) is having its bimonthly CAPS meeting tonight at 7pm.

It's held at the Clarendon Park Fieldhouse, 4501 North Clarendon. It's a chance to find out crime statistics for the past couple months in the area, speak with police officers, a representative from the alderman's office, and your neighbors about what's going on in your community and what to do to help make Uptown safer.