Thursday, August 21, 2014

Buttercup Park Clean-Up Saturday, August 23

Tonight's Argyle Night Market Cancelled Due To Weather

If you were planning to attend tonight's Argyle Night Market, it has been cancelled due to expected weather this evening. You still have two more chances this summer to check it out so see you next week!

UPDATE: Another event tonight is cancelled as well, this time in Buena Park:

Tonight's concert in the Park has been cancelled due to the weather.  We have no rain date.  Buena Park Neighbors thanks everyone who came out to our events this summer.

Construction Continues On Truman College's "North Entrance Plaza"

The current view outside the Wilson Avenue entrance to Truman College
If you are a student at Truman or just a neighbor who passes by on a regular basis, you may have noticed construction fencing outside the Wilson Avenue entrances to Truman College. We poked around on Truman's Facebook page and found out what is in store for this area:

"Construction of the north entrance plaza for Harry S Truman College continues. The design calls for a new, more defined and inviting entrance and garden area. The north entrance plaza construction is in response to campus community requests to create an outdoor space for Truman’s students, faculty and staff to meet and study. The space will include a variety of raised planting, beds that define the space, an arbored walkway, and new as well as existing trees to provide shaded seating areas. A faculty and staff advisory committee is working with the designer on a landscape plan that will include plantings and trellises that are in keeping with the Sustainable Chicago 2015 goals."

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

"The Public Barber" & "Pine & Plastic" Finalists For FLATS Project

Which of these two great businesses would you like to see in a FLATS storefront in Uptown?
Vote now for either "Pine & Plastic" who manufacture locally crafted totes or "The Public Barber" which will provide old school grooming to a new generation. The winner will receive free rent for a year in a FLATS storefront. Voting ends August 31 at midnight.

More info on the businesses and the link for voting can be found here. Good luck to both participants!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fire Destroys Building On Margate Terrace

Fire engulfs the back porches of 919-23 W. Margate Terrace
A fire ripped through 919-23 W. Margate Terrace shortly around 4am this morning. Firefighters were on the scene immediately and the fire was extinguished.

A neighbor sends in the following photo and accolades for our Chicago Fire and Police Departments:

"Just want to send a huge thank you to the men and women of the Chicago Fire and Police Department. Our neighbors suffered a tragedy this morning due to a fire that destroyed their homes. Both departments were quick to respond and I believe no one was hurt. Thank you again to all that helped. Our hearts and thoughts are with our neighbors."

Monday, August 18, 2014

Harpo Studio's "Iyanla, Fix My Life" Filming On Dover

The filming notification from Harpo Studios

Some neighbors living on Dover have received notices from Harpo Studios stating that "Iyanla, Fix My Life" is filming in a single family home at 4726 N. Dover. The filming started Sunday, August 17 and will run through Friday, August 22. If you have more trouble than usual finding parking nearby, you can probably assume it is related to this.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Positive Loitering Tonight, 7pm-8pm

Come stand with your neighbors and police officers for a safer Uptown.

from the Uptown Chicago Commission:

"Positive Loitering enters its fifth year in 2014, taking place in trouble spots in the 19th District on Friday evenings.  Tonight we will stand at the southeast corner of Wilson & Broadway, near the currency exchange, then may walk to another spot at 7:30, depending on the group consensus.  Bring a friend, bring a neighbor, bring your dog!  All are welcome to attend.  The 19th District Police are aware of and encourage our efforts.  As always, they will stand with us and/or drive past our location(s) every few minutes to lend support."

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Uptown Psychiatrist's License Suspended

Community Mental Health Services at Lawrence & Kenmore (Alex Garcia-Tribune)
By Karisa King, Tribune Reporter

For years, Dr. Michael Reinstein was a prolific prescriber of a dangerous antipsychotic drug in nursing homes and mental health facilities, giving it to more than 50 percent of the patients under his care.

The psychiatrist's prescriptions of clozapine, known as a risky drug of last resort, were linked to three patients' deaths and triggered federal accusations of kickbacks and fraud.

Now, the Illinois medical board has indefinitely suspended Reinstein's license, saying he received $350,000 in illegal payments from the drug's maker while disregarding its life-threatening effects and alternative treatments. Clozapine can cause seizures, a decrease in white blood cells, inflammation of the heart wall and increased risk of death in elderly patients. Continue Reading

NUNA Helps Secure Grant For Garden At 4919 N. Clark

Envision's Kathryn Kruger Center at 4919 N. Clark
Good news from North Uptown Neighbors Association (NUNA):

The United Airlines Foundation awarded five Eco-Skies Community Grants nation-wide to support employee-sponsored environmental service projects to help protect or enhance the environment in the communities where we live and work.  The organizations that received grants include Sadiq Garden (Missouri), Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio), Heal the Bay (California), Sweet Virginia (Virginia), and Envision Unlimited (Illinois - Uptown).
North Uptown Neighbors Association (NUNA) members worked to secure this grant for Envision Unlimited.  Envision’s Kathryn Kruger Center is located 4919 N. Clark Street and serves ten seniors with developmental disabilities and 17 adults with autism.  Our objective is to transform the Center’s outdoor space from an unwelcoming asphalt pad into a vibrant green space for both clients and community members to enjoy.  The grant value is five thousand dollars.  Envision Unlimited is a non-profit human services provider, that has been operating in the City of Chicago continuously since 1964.  Envision enhances the lives and expands the future for 1,200 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities across all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.

The Envision Project

    -Elizabeth Lindau, NUNA Vice President who was familiar with Envision’s desire to improve their facility developed the project plan and will act as project manager.
    -Seven United Airlines employees who are NUNA members (Jackie Denofrio, Michael O’Gara, and Jimmy Sanders) and close neighbors (Jack Quinones, David Friedland, Mike Oslansky, and John Kirchberg) sponsored the United Airlines Eco-Skies Grant securing the funding.
    -NUNA member Margot is dedicated to bringing together NUNA members, friends, and her business associates to plant the flowers and shrubs.  Alderman Pawar would like to join us to plant.      

John Kearney, Sculptor Of Uptown Gorillas Passes Away

By Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune
There is wonder in the work of sculptor John Kearney, and that wonder — in the form of large-scale metal sculptures that dot the Chicago area — gives joy to any who pass by the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Scare Crow and Dorothy and Toto in Oz Park; the gorilla climbing up a wall in Uptown; three deer at the Aon Building; and creatures at the Museum of Science and Industry and the Lincoln Park Zoo. Continue Reading

UU Note: Kearney was also the sculptor of the "Hull House Gorilla," currently on hiatus and soon to be returned to the apartment building being constructed at 4520 Beacon. He also sculpted the gorilla that resides on the side of a home on Castlewood, and the pumas outside Goudy School.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Alderman Cappleman's Statement On Last Night's Leland Incident

Via Ald. Cappleman's website:
"I am working with the police and community members to find out more on what happened last night on Leland.  I want to thank the neighbors that called 911 immediately to alert the police. Anyone with property damage please contact the police immediately. Anyone with information please contact the police and my office. I’ve requested more police be in the area tonight in case of another incident. Do not hesitate to call 911 if you see anything suspicious."

Update: It now appears, according to the Alderman, that a birthday party held at Chase Park with close to 50 kids/teens was the source of the mob.

Media coverage of the incident:

WGN: Video captures vandals damages slew of cars in Uptown

DNAInfo: Dozes on Kids Terrorize Motorists, Damage Cars in Uptown

Fox 32 News: No arrests after reports of 'wilding' reported in Uptown

MPC Releases Its Recommendations About Stewart School & CTA Wilson Property

You may recall that in May, the Metropolitan Planning Council, at the invitation of Ald. Cappleman, held three meetings to get community input into what happens with the building formerly known as Graeme Stewart School and the empty spaces that will be left near the Wilson Red Line station after the reconfiguration takes place.  After the meetings, there was an opportunity for residents to participate in a survey reacting to several proposals that arose from the three community workshops.

MPC has just released its conclusions from the process and you can read all about it, here.  There is a brief overview on page 3 of the report, which is reproduced below.  If you'd like to read the entire explanation of the recommendations that MPC arrived at, you can go to pages 18 and 19.  It's a good read, if you're into that kind of thing (and we are).

Here's the short version of the conclusions derived from the workshops and survey:
"The following summarizes the primary conclusions of the majority of participants in the Uptown CDI workshops and online survey. For more details, see page 18.
Both sites
  1. Dense, mixed-use buildings that fit within the urban fabric of Uptown are preferred.
  2. Many participants stated that any new housing built should be targeted to a range of income levels, with at least some portion of the building dedicated to low-income households.
  3. Given the proximity of the sites to Wilson Station, developments should only include the minimum required parking spaces.
Stewart School site
  1. The existing school building, a beautiful, historic and important structure in Uptown, should be preserved and reused.
  2. If the building is reused as a school, the community’s strong preference is that it be a public school.
  3. If the building is not reused as a school, at least part of the redevelopment should serve the neighborhood, whether as a community, arts or youth center, a farmers market or otherwise.
  4. New construction should be planned for the parking lot adjacent to the school, at a scale similar to the school building (about four to six stories).
  5. Retail options should be incorporated at the ground level if possible, preferably facing Broadway.
Wilson Station site
  1. The redevelopment of Wilson Station offers the opportunity to significantly improve the space under the elevated rail tracks. Working with Truman College and local businesses, CTA should improve lighting and offer a paved, landscaped connection between Truman College and Broadway.
  2. Development on the parcel just west of the CTA tracks is acceptable to the community, particularly if it includes retail facing Wilson Avenue and an “eyes on the street” design that emphasizes safety for pedestrians."
Again, the entire report is here.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Wilson Avenue In 1955

Wilson between Hazel and Clarendon in 1955

The same stretch in 2011, courtesy of Google Streetview

Another view, courtesy of Google Streetview

Wilson Avenue between Hazel and Clarendon is hardly residential these days.  There's Lakeview Towers and the Covington Apartments at the corner of Clarendon and Wilson.  Go west, and you'll find vacant lots, parking lots, a big-box pharmacy, Uplift School, and the Chicago Health Department building before you get to Hazel Avenue.

There's just one exception:  a small residential building on the north side of the street, next to the alley.

Take the Wayback Machine to 1955, and you can see that Wilson used to be chock full of brick apartment buildings.  Best of all, there was a neighborhood bar in the commercial space of the lone residential building. No name or marquee, just an ad for Peter Hand Reserve Beer (Peter Hand was the bottler of Meister Brau, once a big name in Chicago brewing.  The brewery was located at Sheffield and North, where the Container Store and Whole Foods are now), and a small "For Rent" sign.

Neighborhoods change.  This building somehow survived.  Our favorite part of the photo comparison? The same fire hydrant is still there in the parkway.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Positive Loitering Tonight, Wilson & Broadway

Come stand with your neighbors and police officers for a safer Uptown.

from the Uptown Chicago Commission:

"Positive Loitering enters its fifth year in 2014, taking place in trouble spots in the 19th District on Friday evenings.  Tonight we will stand at the southeast corner of Wilson & Broadway, near the currency exchange, then may walk to another spot at 7:30, depending on the group consensus.  Bring a friend, bring a neighbor, bring your dog!  All are welcome to attend.  The 19th District Police are aware of and encourage our efforts.  As always, they will stand with us and/or drive past our location(s) every few minutes to lend support."

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

National Night Out At Buttercup Park

Some glimpses of what last night, National Night Out, was like at Buttercup Park, thanks to Mariano's and JJ Peppers, who supplied the food and drinks, and the police and volunteers who supplied the grilling and serving. Reader JK sent in these photos and says, "Tons of folks out enjoying the park @Sheridan and Ainslie."

Learn "Stories of Afghanistan" From Humanitarian Photographer Ivan Lo

We've posted before about Uptowner Ivan Lo, who goes overseas to take photos and document the conditions in which people are living in war-torn countries.  He has most recently been in Afghanistan on a humanitarian mission, where he took plenty of photos showing what life is like for ordinary Afghanis.

He will speak about "Stories of Afghanistan" at the Bezazian Library on Saturday, August 16th, at 2pm. If you are interested in learning what it's like to be a normal person who's experiencing a war fought in your homeland, please plan on attending.  Ivan will also discuss the three humanitarian missions he has been on during the past eight years.

If you can't wait, his photos are on display at the library from now until the end of August.  You can see and learn more at his website.

Help Crew Celebrate Its Tenth Anniversary

Clark Construction Speeding Right Along

It's been a fast couple months for construction at 4415-4423 N Clark, from literal lines in the dirt at the end of May to two-story exteriors today. 

According to the latest zoning notice we're aware of, the building will be four stories, with 18 dwelling units and ground-floor retail.  Check out our previous coverage here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Cappleman Throws His Hat In The Ring For Second Term

Not that there was much doubt about it, but Ald. James Cappleman (46th Ward) formally announced his intention to run for reelection today with an invitation to his new campaign office's open house.

Located at 4660 North Broadway, it is located in the storefront where his 2011 run-off opponent, Molly Phelan, had her campaign office.

This makes it official:  all three Uptown aldermen will run for second terms.

Ald. Harry Osterman (48th Ward) and Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th Ward) each announced their intentions to run for re-election earlier this year.

Candidates interested in having their names placed on the aldermanic ballots may begin collecting signatures on their nominating petitions in late August.  Petitions are turned in to the Board of Elections in November and then the fun begins: we get to see whose names will appear on the ballot.

Beck's Books Space To Become Construction HQ For Wilson El

City Colleges pulling its long-term contract with Beck's Books left Uptown with another empty storefront last June.

Now another city project, the upcoming three-year overhaul of the Wilson Red Line station and its tracks and bridges, has ensured that the former Beck's storefront will be filled again.

The commercial space, at 4520 N Broadway, just north of Aldi, will be the headquarters for Walsh Construction, the contractor for the project. We are told that "The floor was so damaged due to the weight of books in the bookcases that the floor joists will need to be replaced before Walsh can move in."

Yet another sign that things will get going soon on the much anticipated $203-million renovation.  It is due to begin in the fall, and last for 33 months.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Clarendon Park Open House, Next Saturday

You’re invited to the Clarendon Park Open House—this Saturday, August 9, 11am to 1pm.  Come explore two of Uptown’s hidden treasures:

  • Learn more about the rich history of the Clarendon Park Municipal Bathing Beach House, built in 1916, as one of premier bathing beach houses in the United States.  The original beach house that included 9,000 lockers and had a summer staff of 85 employees.  Tour the entire building to see the remnants of this grand building that once hosted 35,000 bathers on the busiest day of the summer—at a cost of 10 cents for adults to rent a locker, bathing suit and towel!

  • Visit the spectacular Garfield-Clarendon Model Railroad Room that’s called Clarendon Park home since 1963. The Garfield-Clarendon Park Railroad Club features one of the largest model railroads in the country. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the train travel over 1,400 feet of tracks through the fictional towns of Summit, Georgetown, Bridgeport and Williamsport set in the Appalachian mountains.
4501 N Clarendon Ave, one block west of Marine Dr and just north of Montrose Ave. Brought to you by the Clarendon Park Advisory Council—learn more about why we love our park and how you can get involved!

Free Screening Of Film About The Buddha Heads & Ten Thousand Ripples

If you've loved having the Buddha heads in Uptown, you might want to learn more about them in a film, White Lotus Rising, which explains more about them and the Ten Thousand Ripples program which placed them here.

According to the press release, "White Lotus Rising chronicles the social impact of the Ten Thousand Ripples project an art-based project for peace in Chicago Neighborhoods. The Buddha sculptures placed throughout the city as part of this project strive to elicit positive change for peace on social and psychological levels."

It will play in Ping Tom Memorial Park, 1700 South Wentworth, on Friday, September 5th.  No time is given, but we're guessing it will begin at dusk.  White Lotus Rising will play along with The Peace Exchange, which "tells the story of a similar quest, as a group of teens travel to Thailand and Burma with Chicago Peace Builders to engage with peace activists and social and spiritual leaders to learn how best to promote peace in Chicago."

Bluesman Jake La Botz To Play Free Concert At Tattoo Factory

An Uptown original, bluesman Jake La Botz, will be appearing at the Tattoo Factory this Sunday for a free concert 5pm-8pm.

It's part of his current "Tattoo Across America" tour.

If you haven't seen Jake, this is a great chance to become acquainted with him and his music.

Tattoo Gallery is located at 4441 N Broadway (and while Drink & Ink is coming along nicely, it will not be open by then, we hear on good authority).

Have You Seen This Woman?

Anitra Patrick-Jones, age 33, of the 4400 block of Ashland, was reported missing by her family.

She was last seen August 2nd, wearing grey sports pants and a grey/blue shirt.  She is 5'8" and weighs approximately 160 lbs.

She is familiar with the Rogers Park area and suffers from depression.

If you see her, please call 911 or the North Side Police Special Victims Unit at 312-744-8200.

Somerset Retro Rehab Continues

It's great to see how the restoration is going on the Somerset apartments (formerly Somerset Place, formerly the Somerset Hotel). A few Facebook readers were good enough to keep us up-to-date on the latest.

Here's an example of what they're recovering from: the 2009 tacky refacing that took place shortly before the state shut down Somerset Place.
"A peek through a door of the work being done on the Somerset building (Sheridan & Argyle)."

"Work on Somerset House proceeds with the installation of reproduced corbels on the main fa├žade."

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Bike Rides & Safety Seminars On Argyle

A couple upcoming events from Ald. Osterman's latest newsletter:
  • "This Monday, August 4 I will host a Safety Bike Ride beginning at 8:00pm at the Argyle Satellite Office (1008 W. Argyle). We will ride north and end at Granville and Kenmore.
  • My office and the Chicago Police Department will be hosting a free women's safety seminar at our Argyle Summer Satellite Office (1008 Argyle) on August 7th from 10am to 11am. Martial arts instructor Shi Han Frank Roman will join us for the seminar to share some self defense skills."

National Night Out On Tuesday

This Tuesday evening will be the 31st observance of National Night Out (formerly National Night Out Against Crime).  As Ald. Cappleman's most recent newsletter says, "For the past 30 years cities across the country have been celebrating National Night Out\ on the first Tuesday in August to call neighbors together to address crime in our neighborhoods.

It's my strong belief that strong communities that team with the police create safer neighborhoods. Each police district heads up its own activities that will encourage residents to interact more with one another, which leads to safer neighborhoods."
  • In the 19th District, it will take place at Clarendon Park (Clarendon and Sunnyside) between 5pm and 8pm.  There will be free hot dogs and drinks, face painting and a bouncy house.  More details are here.  CAPS Beat 1913 will not meet tonight, and will be incorporated into National Night Out.
  • In the 20th District, come to Buttercup Park (Sheridan and Ainslie) at 6pm.  According to Ald. Osterman, "Starting at 6:00pm, join the community for Tai Chi and Zumba for everyone. Afterward a cookout sponsored by the 20th district will take place in the McCutcheon School parking lot. Finally, our 48th Ward Movie Fest will be setting up at dusk for a screening of The Wiz at the Buttercup playlot starting around 8:00pm."  The Wiz will start at dusk; you can read more about it at Buttercup Park's Facebook page.