Friday, October 20, 2017

Zoning Change Sought For Sheridan Road Mansion

Neighbors of the George Maher-designed home at 4506 N Sheridan recently received a letter about changing the zoning of the building that makes the new owner's plans for it a little clearer.

First, the building is safe. There will be no demolition of this 1895 classic.

The proposed rezoning will change it from an RT-4 (Residential Two-Flat, Townhouse, and Multi-Use District) to a B2-1 (Neighborhood Multi-Unit District).

The zoning notice mentions that it was previously a not-for-profit (Neon Street homeless shelter, to be specific) with office space included.

The plan is to divide the home's 5000+ square foot interior into three residential units and a 2400 square foot office space. As we mentioned in an earlier post, the room sizes are huge (a 12' x 31' foyer; a 16' x 15' sitting room; and a 30' x 24' family room). There are 11 rooms, as well as a full attic, basement, and porch. The third floor is a full ballroom.

Presumably most or all of the original elements (stained glass windows, grand staircase, and three fireplaces) will be retained, if possible.

Since the property was marketed as a potential teardown, we're happy to learn that the new owner intends to renovate it instead. Given its history as a private home, restaurant, funeral home, and homeless shelter, three residences and office space -- if approved -- will add another chapter in its history.

a portion of the proposed rezoning letter received by neighbors of the property

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Track Alignment At Wilson All Weekend -- Northbound Purple Line Service Begins Monday

Photo by Thomas G. via Yelp
More progress as the Wilson Red/Purple Line project approaches completion after three-plus years:
  • We are told that workers will begin pouring concrete on the east side of the 4600 block of Broadway tomorrow, and after it has cured for a week, asphalt will follow.
  • The second of four final track cutovers will take place this weekend, which will place Track 3 into its final alignment. 
  • Currently, only the West platform is open for use. However, after this weekend, the new east platform will open and service northbound Red and Purple Line trains (the west platform will still be for southbound trains).
  • This weekend's construction closures will be in effect from 8pm Friday until 4am Monday (although CTA doubts it will last that long). Closures will include Broadway between Wilson and Leland; Leland between Broadway and Winthrop; and there will be equipment in the alley between Broadway and Winthrop (4700 block). As usual, there will be lights, dust and noise during construction.

"Dealer Divvy" Station On The Move


Rumor has it that the Divvy bike station at Wilson and Broadway, which has turned into a very convenient place for dealers of all kinds of substances to ply their trade, will be moved any day now has moved. It's gone west, in front of the new Wilson station, in plain view of an array of security cameras. Smile pretty, folks, and be sure to show your faces to the cameras.

For everyone who complains about constantly seeing drug deals, are you calling 911 each time? You can do it, and be anonymous. Instead of saying, "Someone should do something about that spot," be one of an army of someones.

For those who may be new readers of the blog, something we've learned over the years is that the police brass base their deployment of officers on the number of 911 calls. Fewer calls mean fewer officers.

Good news for Wilson and Broadway, and hopefully more arrests with the cameras being able to identify the sellers in the future. (But they need you to call in order to do it.)

Counterfeit Money Being Passed In Uptown

image courtesy of WikiHow
A warning to businesses -- people are attempting to use fake $100 bills in our community stores.

The owner of The Satellite Cafe wrote to us today and says:
"My business has had several customers in the past three days try to use counterfeit $100 bills. The images are pretty good, but the paper is wrong and none of the bills we've seen have lacked a security ribbon.

I would hate for another local business to suffer, which is why I’m passing this info along."
So, businesses, be very careful. Call the cops and give a description of the person if you get what you think is a bogus C-note.

Here are a couple articles on how to identify funny money:

Cit-Go Somewhere Else


If you were looking for inexpensive gas lately at the "Home Run" Citgo at Belle Plaine and Clark, time to look elsewhere. It's closed and in the process of becoming a BP branded station.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Unidos Benefit for Puerto Rico To Take Place At Uptown Underground On October 30th

The good people at Uptown Underground and Chicago's theater community are teaming up to help the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. 

There will be a one-night fundraiser on Monday October 30th, and all proceeds will go to the Hispanic Federation for hurricane relief.

The evening will be co-emceed by Michelle Lauto and Yando Lopez. Performers will include E. Faye Butler, Donica Lynn, Alexis J. Roston, Lillian Castillo, Evan Tyrone Martin, Eric Lewis, Justin Brill, Keely Vasquez, Missy Aguilar, Sharriese Hamilton, Lucy Godinez, Stephen Allen, Chuckie Benson, Emily Berman and more.

Uptown Underground is located at 4707 North Broadway, and tickets are only $15. Help fellow American citizens at a time when they really need you! Purchase tickets here.

JASC Presents Holiday Delight/Kodomo Matsuri - Craft Bazaar & Children's Festival


Join JASC in celebrating HOLIDAY DELIGHT - KODOMO MATSURI

This Children's Festival and Craft Bazaar has something for everyone
with great food, performances, vendors, and demonstrations!

Saturday, November 11, 2017
10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Japanese American Service Committee (JASC)
4427 N. Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640

Free admission to this family friendly event
Performances by Tsukasa Taiko drumming, Toyoaki Shamisen, and Shubu-Kai Japanese classical dance!

For more information, visit http://www.jasc-chicago.org/holiday-delight/ or https://www.facebook.com/events/824282634412750/

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sheridan Park Student Awarded Prestigious STEM Scholarship

Congratulations to Sheridan Park's Nicolas Ramirez, one of nine high school junior/seniors who was awarded a scholarship by ComEd for demonstrating his interest in pursuing STEM excellence.

Nicholas, who came to this country from Colombia just two years ago, attends DePaul College Prep.

The CEO of ComEd, Anne Pramaggiore, said in a statement, "We see investments in STEM education as investments in our future workforce and the Illinois economy.  We are excited to work with these great academic institutions to encourage and grow tomorrow’s best and brightest talent right here in Illinois."

In addition to the scholarship, Nicolas will have the opportunity to be mentored by a ComEd engineer. The students who excel in STEM during their high school careers will have an opportunity for a scholarship at DePaul University and continued mentoring.

We're cheering you on, Nicolas!

Red Line Assailant Sought By Police (Updated)

Update: A suspect has been identified and charged with the crime. He is Karon Cannon, age 24, of the 1300 Block of West Roosevelt. According to the police,

"Cannon was positively identified from surveillance video as the offender who robbed a 70-year-old man of his personal belongings. Cannon approached the victim on the sidewalk, punched him in the face, knocked the victim to the ground, and struck the victim with a dangerous weapon. Cannon then took the victim's personal property. The 70-year-old male victim sustained injuries to his head and was treated and released from IL Masonic Hospital in good condition. Cannon was identified through surveillance footage and was taken into custody on October 18th, 2017 at approx. 9:20pm and charged accordingly." He is due in bond court on Friday, October 20 and is charged with two felonies.

Original post:  This did not take place in Uptown. We are posting it so Red Line riders can be aware of the alleged criminal's face and description. Please call the numbers on the flier if you recognize him or can help with the investigation.


Get Down, Boogie-Oogie-Oogie, At Fat Cat's 70s Night

Bring out your best polyester, gold chains, and halter-neck catsuits, and make your way to Fat Cat on Friday.

Costumes are highly encouraged. There will be a DJ playing the best of the 70s.

The Facebook event page is here.



Out & About Uptown's Coast: Learn About The Leland Greenway And Alternative Transit


Alternative Transit, scheduled for October 26th, 2017, at 6pm, will be the fifth session of the Out and About Uptown’s Coast environmental education series. The session will start at 6pm at the Institute of Cultural Affairs, 4750 N Sheridan Road.

Local experts will share information about connections between Uptown’s transit and coast.
  • Melanie Eckner from the Uptown Coastal Initiative will share Uptown transit history; 
  • Lara Rivera from Site Design and Kris Sorich from CDOT will discuss Uptown’s transit history and the present-day Leland Greenway project, with a focus on Uplift Plaza. 
  • At 7pm, there will be a guided coastal walk to explore the Uplift Plaza and the Leland Greenway. 
The session is free, and participants can RSVP for the session at tinyurl.com/UptownICZ.

Majestic Men's Store 2.0

The H.W. Rubloff building, better known as the Majestic Store (Everything For Men), stood at Broadway and Leland for years. Built in 1922 and designed specifically to fit under the L tracks, it was a familiar site to generations of Uptowners. 

But Uptown's old nemesis -- deferred maintenance -- took its toll, and the building suffered a partially collapsed roof and the deterioration of its exquisite terra cotta.

When the CTA began its rehab of the Wilson L, it wanted to tear down the Rubloff Building (which it owned), but local preservationists fought hard to preserve it. A compromise was reached: the store would be dismantled during construction, and the exterior would be reassembled at the end of the rehab project. It would no longer be a store, but the historic elements would be retained.

Three years ago, workers painstakingly removed and numbered the terra cotta tiles.  Thanks to reader JMM, we can see that the the process of restoration has begun.

Last Friday, workers poured concrete into the wood framing, to create new walls:



On Monday, the framing was removed, to reveal new walls:



The terra cotta -- 80% of which was cleaned and restored, 20% of which had to be remade -- will be put up at a later date.

Ald. Pawar Discusses What's Next on Chicago Tonight


Ald. Pawar appeared on Chicago Tonight on Monday to discuss his withdrawal from the gubernatorial race last week, and what his political future holds. A link to the print article is here.