Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ald. Pawar: Empty Lots At Lawrence/Clark In Development

The two empty lots in the northwest corner of Lawrence and Clark, which have been empty since at least 2008, might have a future.

Ald. Pawar just posted on Facebook: "#‎ANewLawrence‬ is getting another addition! The empty lots @ Lawrence and Clark will soon be home to a mixed-use development. McPherson Elementary (education anchor) and Mariano's (retail anchor) helped us secure this new project."

The corner lot one used to have a turreted three-flat in it, which was demolished just in time for the real estate bubble to burst. It was also the one-time home of Gast Monuments, which supplied headstones to St. Boniface, across the street.

It will be good to see something there again. Let's hope the project Ald. Pawar is talking about becomes a reality.

Update:  Brian Bobcat requested a photo of the previous building that was there, so here one is (below).  It was taken in 1986 and the bottom floor was occupied by what appears to be a dive bar.  The last business to be there was BQ African Root Restaurant at 4802 N Clark.  From the comments in previous UU posts about that corner, those who remember say the building was pretty at one time in its history, but had become rundown, as was the case with so many of Uptown's buildings.  As the community slid into poverty, many owners just didn't have the money to maintain their properties.  The photo is from the Chicago Library's digital archives.


  1. Anyone have a picture of the 3-flat before demolition?

  2. Sounds good. New Metra station probably a factor as well. Looking forward to learning the details.

  3. Don't understand why Mariano's would be an anchor there when just 1/2 mile away at the Ravenswood Metra station.

  4. Jason, I think he's saying that areas develop (such as "a new Lawrence") when anchored by good schools and good retail, like McPherson and Mariano's. Therefore, lots on Lawrence that have been empty for years attract developers when the rest of the community is coming up.... as you say, just a half mile away.

  5. I've always wondered why Walgreens wouldn't build a new drive-thru store here and do a tear-down of the Wilson/Clark location.