Saturday, October 31, 2015

Red Line Trains Now Running Southbound From Granville; Northbound Trains Still Express Between Sheridan and Loyola

Update on today's derailment in Edgewater and how it affects Uptown:  Trains are running southbound from Granville again.  If you need to go south from Uptown, you are able to.

There are no southbound trains between Loyola and Granville due to the derailment, which took place on the southbound tracks slightly north of Granville.

This is the CTA announcement:
"Saturday, October 31, 2015 - 4:39 PM to TBD
Impact Level: Service Disruption / Major Delays

Red Line service has been temporarily suspended between Granville and Loyola due to a derailment.

As a result, trains are operating only between Granville/95th, and between Loyola/Howard only.

Shuttle trains will provide connecting service between Addison/Granville, and Loyola/Howard.

Shuttle buses are available to provide connecting service between Granville and Loyola.

Passengers may use #22, #36, #147, and #151 buses as alternatives to Red Line service.

See station personnel for further assistance, and pay attention to announcements on trains and at stations for service information."

We are working to restore service as quickly as possible. Allow extra travel time."
As scheduled, the northbound trains are running express between Sheridan and Loyola until Monday morning due to track work.  Here's the CTA announcement about that.

Life in the big city, eh?

Red Line Derailment in Edgewater; Service Suspended North of Belmont (Updated)

Update: Trains are once again running southbound from Granville. Northbound trains are still running express after Sheridan.  More info here.

Original Post:  There's been a train derailment on the Red Line at Granville, so service has been suspended completely north of Belmont.  This is in addition to the scheduled change of the northbound trains running express between Sheridan and Loyola until Monday morning.

According to ABC7 News, "A wheel on a southbound Red Line train car derailed around 2:07 p.m. Saturday afternoon just north of Granville in the Edgewater neighborhood. ... More than 300 passengers were taken off the train by Chicago Fire Department personnel. One person was taken to Swedish Covenant Hospital with a shoulder injury, according to Fire Media Affairs."

Ald. Osterman asks that people stay clear of the area of Granville between Broadway and Sheridan.

No injuries are reported.

This is what the CTA website says:
"Saturday, October 31, 2015 - 3:08 PM to TBD
Impact Level: Service Disruption

Red Line service has been temporarily suspended between Howard and Belmont due to a derailment.

As a result, trains are operating only between Belmont and 95th at this time.

Shuttle buses is available to provide connecting service through the affected area.

Passengers may use #36, #147, and #151 buses as alternatives to Red Line service.

See station personnel for further assistance, and pay attention to announcements on trains and at stations for service information.

We are working to restore service as quickly as possible. Allow extra travel time."

Ald. Pawar on His City Budget Vote

Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th Ward) sent out an email Friday explaining his "YES" vote on the City budget and property tax increase. Because of its length, we'll print an excerpt; here's a link to the entire text. Ald. Cappleman (46th Ward) and Ald. Osterman (48th Ward) previously explained the reasoning behind their votes. Click on the links to read their reasons for their votes.

"On Wednesday, October 28, 2015, I voted YES on Mayor Emanuel's 2016 budget. The budget includes a $544 million dollar property tax increase to pay statutorily required pension contributions. Voting YES was a difficult decision, and one I made with the City's long-term survival in mind. I want to thank all of you who gave your feedback throughout the budget process. My rationale for the YES vote is below.

My budget vote brings me back to GROWCommunity. Building a neighborhood K-12 system in our community has been my top priority since taking office in 2011. Since then, we've directed millions of TIF funds, hundreds of thousands of dollars in aldermanic menu funds, and over $500k in private funds to our neighborhood schools and high schools. I knew in 2011 that a property tax increase was inevitable. I just didn't know when the politics would catch up with our fiscal reality. And so I talked about this tax increase during budget town halls in 2012, 2013, and 2014; during community meetings, and during my reelection campaign. In addition to talking about the inevitable, I began to work to guard against the increase by focusing efforts on our neighborhood high schools.

Most families move to our community for the K-8 schools. And a large percentage of the families that move to our community, move to the suburbs for high schools. This is reflected in our neighborhood school populations. For example, today at Coonley, there are five kindergarten classes and only one 7th and 8th grade class. This is true at most of our neighborhood schools. Our neighborhood schools are bursting with students in the lower grades with the student population thinning out as students near the eighth grade. Why?

The selective enrollment process and stress drives many families out of the city. This is reflected in what it takes to actually gain admission to a selective enrollment high school. In most cases, children have to earn straight As and test above the 95th percentile to even have a chance at admission to one of the selective high schools. For most families, the pressure is too much. So they flee for the suburbs and pay significantly more in taxes to obtain stability for their children. This stability is what #GROWCommunity is seeking to provide all families in our community.

[...] Below, you will find a summary of the most frequently asked questions I have received throughout this process.
  • Why raise taxes now?
  • Why property taxes?
  • How much more will I pay as a result of this increase?
  • Have any other kinds of taxes or sources of revenue been considered?
  • Financial Transaction Tax
  • Corporate Income Tax
  • Graduated (Progressive) Income Tax for the State of Illinois
  • Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
  • Why not find efficiency, waste, or cut programs/jobs to raise the money?
  • Why is there a new fee to pick up garbage?
  • What about other independent analyses on the Mayor's proposal?"
To see the entire post from Ald. Pawar, including charts and links, click here.

Updates On Sheridan Park's Halloween Festivities Today

"Sheridan Park Safe Trick R Treating is from 5-7pm TODAY, October 31st!
  • If you will be giving out candy to our neighborhood trick r treaters, please hang this flyer (posted below) on your front door or window to indicate your participation. 
  • For parents and children trick r treating in the neighborhood, please use the map (posted below) as a guide. 
Please remember the Sunnyside Mall Festival's NEW indoor location!

Enjoy and have a safe & spooky fun time!"

Window flyer: Click and print for full-size version
Trick-or-treat map: Click and print for full-size version

Fall Back, Saturday Night

Earlier dawns, and earlier darkness in the evenings.  

Set your clocks back an hour Saturday night/Sunday morning as Daylight Saving Time ends, and enjoy the extra hour.

(Photo of Goldblatt's - now the former Borders - and the future First Ascent - used with the kind permission of Mark 2400 on Flickr.)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Big Chicks Costume Party Halloween Night

For more information, see the Facebook Event Page here.

Safe Trick-or-Treating, Business Edition

From Business Partners, The Chamber for Uptown:

"Local Uptown businesses are once again pulling together to make trick-or-treating safe this year. Please click below to find a list of those who have committed to participating this year.  Please note this list is not exhaustive."

Positive Loitering Tonight, 7pm-8pm

From Uptown Chicago Commission:

"Please join your neighbors tonight for an hour of Positive Loitering from 7-8 PM.  Our location this evening will be in front of 4613 N Broadway (across the street from the Broadway entrance of the Wilson Red Line stop). Stop by for a few minutes or stay for the full hour. Bring a friend, bring a new neighbor, stop by on a dog walk, just come out!

As always, the 19th District Police are aware of our presence and encourage participation.  See you tonight!"

#FBF -- A Foggy Afternoon In 1942

It's Flashback Friday.  Thanks to the Library of Congress and photographer Jack Delano, we can see what an unusually heavy afternoon fog looked like in December 1942 Uptown, specifically on the 4400 block of Broadway.

Must have been mild weather, considering what the people were wearing. We love the streetlights and the brick "paving" on Broadway. The street litter, not so much.  A problem 73 years ago, as now.

Click on each photo for a full-size version.

Two women wait in the center median to cross to the west side of Broadway. You can see the old Arcadia Ballroom, which had dancing, live music, and skating, across the street, complete with a bar called the "Skaters Canteen." Target is there now.

Looking east from Broadway down Sunnyside. You can barely make out the Illinois Bell sign on the side of the building at 1025 West Sunnyside, which was at that point one of its telephone exchanges. The corner store was occupied by "Dave's Trading Post," which sold cigars, cigarettes, Coca-Cola, snacks, greeting cards, toys and school supplies, among other things. It also offered the services of a notary public and served as a post office.

Looking south on Broadway from Sunnyside. Hard to believe this is mid-afternoon. You can just make out the building south of 1025 West Sunnyside, which has been an empty lot as long as we can remember. In this photo, the building is home to a tavern. Note to the lady holding the hand of the toddler: Madam, we adore your coat and shoulder pads!  Funny to think that the toddler is now in his mid-70s.

Did Someone Say New Tracks?

A bird's eye view of the new Red Line tracks that are being built, looking south along Broadway. Also a rare view of the top of the Uptown Broadway Building above the "love" sign.

Remember Polish-American Heritage Month At Uptown Branch Library with Author Brigid Pasulka

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Halloween Events in Uptown (Updated)

Great Halloween decorations at the residential courtyard building next to the Riviera
Thursday, October 29:
Friday, October 30:
Saturday, October 31:
November 2:
Got some that we missed?  Put it in the comments, or write us at and we'll add it to the list.

Ald. Cappleman on His City Budget Vote

From today's email newsletter from James Cappleman (46th Ward),  When/if Ald. Pawar talks about his budget vote, we'll post it here as well.  Ald. Osterman's explanation of his budget vote is here.

"Our city is facing unprecedented financial challenges due to decades of mismanagement that that many of my colleagues and I inherited. Tough decisions have to be made. If we are going to swallow this bitter pill, there has to be a give back to residents. Residents throughout the 46th Ward told me over and over again they wanted more police. During the budget hearings I pressured Supt. McCarthy to make a commitment to more police, including a timeline when this would happen.

This week, I was told that the 19th Police District would get 25 police officers during the first quarter of next year and an additional 10 officers before the year's end. This did not include the additional 8 officers that will be added next month. I will be in constant communication with the 19th district commander and Supt. McCarthy to make sure they fulfill their commitment.

Additionally, since I was elected in 2011, I have been pushing for an independent budget office to address Chicago's massive fiscal issues. This office would provide aldermen with unbiased information to help us make the best decisions and stop another privatization fiasco like the parking meter deal. It took a few years, but I was happy to join my colleagues to establish the Council on Fiscal Analysis (COFA). Without the establishment of this council to provide me and my colleagues with unbiased information, I would have voted no on this year's especially tough budget proposal.

In COFA's 64-page report, it was made clear that if the City fails to make its required contributions to its pension systems, the State Comptroller would then be required to withhold payments to the City of Chicago to cover these payments.

In essence, if there was no property tax increase after all the budget cuts we had already made, it would be impossible for us to meet our pension obligations and we would then be required to do massive layoffs of police, firefighters, and Streets & Sanitation workers in order to meet this required mandate. These cuts would not only be crippling for residents' quality of life but would freeze economic development in our City.

Politically, a "no" vote on this budget would have been much easier for me to do, but I voted "yes" based on COFA's thorough analysis and because it was a skillful response to one of the greatest financial predicaments we've ever had to face as a city. In order to have a growing and thriving city, residents must feel safe and have quality city services. This budget puts us on the path to financial stability without reducing the quality of life for current and future residents.

If I am true to my commitment in being a public servant, I have to be willing to make the tough decisions that will benefit the City, and our ward, in the long term... even if it is unpopular. The residents of the 46th Ward deserve that commitment."

Ald. Osterman on His City Budget Vote

From today's email newsletter from Harry Osterman (48th Ward),  When/if Ald. Pawar and Ald. Cappleman talk about their budget votes, we'll post it here as well.

"Yesterday the City Council approved a $7.8 billion budget for 2016 that includes a $543 million property tax increase to shore up Chicago's police and fire pension funds. After going through a long budget process and listening to many residents in our community, I voted against the budget and property tax hike.

This was a difficult decision, but I am very concerned about the impact the property tax increase will have on the people of our ward—whether longtime homeowners who have helped make the community what it is today, renters who value the diversity and quality of life here, or small-business owners who play such a vital role in our day-to-day lives. Everyone will be affected, and I realize that as the cost of living continues to climb, it's becoming increasingly difficult for some people to stay in our great neighborhood.

The budget begins to address our long-term pension obligations, but I believe we should have looked for more cuts and efficiencies in city government before we asked residents and business owners to dig deeper into their pockets. This year the city returned $113 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District surplus funds to various government taxing bodies, including $22 million to the city and $45 million to the Chicago Public Schools. Given that hundreds of millions of dollars will remain in TIFs at the end of the year, I feel we should have returned more. This is an issue I will continue to pursue, as I am still very concerned about the financial condition of both the city and CPS.

Finding more efficiencies in city government would not have eliminated the property tax increase, but it would have lessened the burden on residents and business owners. Moving forward, there will be a number of proposals for property tax rebates that I will review and share with you. I also will continue to look for ways to have a city government that we can afford.

Throughout this budget process, many of you have reached out through emails and Town Hall meetings to share your ideas and concerns. As I cast this difficult vote, please know that I did it with the people of our community in mind.

You may continue to contact me at 773-784-5277 or with questions or concerns. I value your input.

For more insight into the budget process and the City Council vote, here is a link to last night's Chicago Tonight program on WTTW-Channel 11, where I appeared along with three of my fellow aldermen."

Dick Uyvari, Unsung Hero Of Uptown Revitalization, Passes Away

via the Uptown Historical Society:
Uyvari in 2011, photo by Ross Forman

This Sunday, November 1, we invite everyone in the Uptown community to celebrate the life of Dick Uyvari, one of the truly unsung heroes of Uptown’s preservation and revitalization. Uyvari passed unexpectedly in early September, and his memorial is this Sunday at the Center on Halsted beginning at 10:00 a.m.

In 1975, when Uyvari and his life partner Joe LaPat began working in Uptown, the Sheridan Park neighborhood did not even know its name. While the name was known to the history books, it had been long forgotten by the community.

The degree of urban decay had to be seen to be believed. Local resident and historian Martin Tangora moved to the area that year, and in the following five years, four buildings on his block (out of 22) were destroyed by fire.

In Sheridan Park, it was common to find apartment buildings and single family homes that had been, in the interest of profit, cut up into multiple units. Examples were a six flat cut up into 36 dwelling units, a two-flat converted to 11 units, and a single family home, 4636 N. Beacon, converted into a nursing home.

Uyvari and LaPat sought to right this wrong by buying and rehabilitating these homes. Unlike modern flippers, the pair focused on the quality of the housing stock and worked long hours to do renovations the right way. Their work was immediately recognized both in the neighborhood and citywide.

At the City House expo in 1980, Uyvari and LaPat’s rehabilitation of their first project, 4551-59 Beacon, won first prize in its category.

This success spurred others in the community to act. Local groups pointed to the award in encouraging others to rehabilitate their properties, and existing owners joined new members of the community in beginning to rehabilitate the buildings.

In 1985, as neighborhood-wide rehabilitation efforts were beginning to get off the ground, local residents and community groups banded together to apply for recognition of the effort through official designation of the Sheridan Park National Register Historic District. The publicity in turn led to many more rehabilitations and restorations, as owners and new residents came to recognize the quality of the housing stock in the area. Demolition by neglect was halted, and many of the original six-flats and larger apartment buildings were deconverted, using preservation tax incentives, to their original configuration.

While not all the rehabilitations of the 1980s and 1990s were done in the same historic spirit that Uyvari and LaPat brought to their renovations (some buildings were gutted by necessity and rebuilt from the inside out), the loving and detailed restoration work done by Dick Uyvari and Joe LaPat became a model for the community that is still followed today.

Dick Uyvari and Joe LaPat were involved in the following renovations in Sheridan Park:

1. 1975-2003: 19-unit apartment building,
4451-59 N. Beacon St. (& 1319-21 W. Sunnyside Ave.)
This building won Uyvari and LaPat a citywide rehab award in 1980

2. 1977-2003: 16-unit apartment building,
4550-56 N. Beacon St. (& 1351-53 W. Wilson Ave.)
CHRS orange rated.
Uyvari and LaPat spent more than $100,000 to solve the problem of the building’s spectacular cornice, with a four-foot overhang, that had lost its structural integrity, as well as the beautiful copper work inside.

3. 1978-1982: private residence
4535 N. Beacon St.

4. 1979-1982: private residence
4636 N. Beacon St.
CHRS orange rated.
Originally the residence of prominent construction company owner Andrew Lanquist. When Uyvari and LaPat purchased the building, it had been a nursing home for 30 years. Uyvari and LaPat restored the building’s incredible hardwood interiors and returned the home to a single-family configuration.

5. 1979-2015: apartment building,
4529 N. Malden St.
CHRS orange rated.
Originally a luxury two-flat, when Uyvari and LaPat purchased the building, it had 11 apartments. They paid $66,000 in 1979. The building was deconverted in stages to 6, then 4, and now 3 apartments. Uyvari called the building his "Mona Lisa," with extensive work put into the exterior masonry and restoration of the interiors, which were of exceptional quality. Uyvari and LaPat spent $1 million in rehabilitation costs in total over the years.

6. 1985-2014: private residence
4527 N. Malden St.
When purchased, 4527 Malden was a communal home with several unrelated families. Uyvari and LaPat kept this as their private residence, and Uyvari was a prominent resident on the block. The residence featured incredible woodwork and original paintings on the walls, all restored by Uyvari and LaPat.

7. 1986-1996: apartment building
4639 N. Beacon St.
This was originally a three-flat that had been converted to multiple apartments. Uyvari and LaPat's work returned it to a three flat. Uyvari and LaPat’s rehabilitation began by carrying out 26 large garbage bags full of empty cat-food tins.

8. 1993-1996: private residence
4538 N. Malden St.
Uyvari and LaPat repaired and refinished the building’s interior, particularly the woodwork.

All these buildings were in various stages of neglect before Uyvari and LaPat bought them. Deferred maintenance, decay, and abuse from residents had brought many close to demolition. Uyvari and LaPat gave them new leases on life, including new plumbing, new electrical systems, and most importantly, detailed and extensive wood repair, replacement, and refinishing.

So, this Sunday, remember one of the men who made Uptown what it is today, and give thanks for his contributions to our community.

See also:

Steel Uprising

A new support column at Broadway & Clifton

Flat-bed trucks with more steel beams for the Wilson L track structure were lined up down the 4600 block of Broadway today. It's amazing to see how quickly the steel is rising all around the station, including along Broadway and Clifton.
New support beams filling the space west of the station

CPS Approves Sale of Stewart School, Redevelopment to Include Community's Criteria

Today the Chicago Board of Education announced that it has approved the sale of the Stewart School campus to Morningside Equities Group Inc. for $5,112,000.  The appraised value of the property was $4-4.5 million.

(In comparison, Trumbull School in Edgewater, approximately the same size and vintage, sold for $5,250,000 less than a month ago.)

Regarding the workshops conducted by Metropolitan Planning Council a year and a half ago, the press release from CPS says, "Following an extensive community engagement process to determine the property’s preferred use, the site will be redeveloped to incorporate residential housing, retail and restaurant space, a community plaza and playground."

Specifically, "The bid approved today meets the community’s redevelopment criteria, which specifies that the site must be redeveloped to incorporate residential housing, retail and/or restaurant space, a community plaza or town square, and space for community programming including community gardens, space for a farmers market, community theater space, youth educational or recreational space, or job training. 

The agreement also requires Morningside to preserve the building’s unique and historical character and to seek landmark designation from the City’s Commission on Chicago Landmarks."

Metropolitan Planning Council held three meetings in May 2014 to give residents the opportunity to discuss and decide what they wanted to see developed at the school site.  MCS released its summary of the community input in August 2014, a copy of which is linked on Ald. Cappleman's website.

We wish the building had been able to become the new home of Decatur Classical School, but realistically, a $12-15 million price tag to retrofit a property that sold for $5 million didn't make sense.

It's a pleasant surprise that CPS took the community's desires into account when selling the building and grounds. We are well aware that the cash-strapped school system wasn't obligated to pay any attention to our requests at all, and may have been able to get a higher price for the property if it had sold it without any restrictions on its next usage.

We can't wait to see the renderings of what Morningside has in mind for its newest property.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tax Increase Passes City Council Today

graphic courtesy of WTTW/Chicago Tonight
As you've probably heard, the largest tax increase in Chicago's history was approved by the City Council today.  Ald. Osterman voted against it. Alds. Pawar and Cappleman voted for it.

Ald. Osterman appeared on Chicago Tonight as part of a panel moderated by Carol Marin to explain his vote. Video of the discussion is available here.

As soon as Uptown's three aldermen release statements about their votes, we'll post them.

The big question is, how will it affect you?  Reboot Illinois has an article breaking it down. Oddly, the biggest increase they focus on is for electronic cigarettes. They also show sugary drinks, two Uber rides a week, and garbage pick-up, which is not applicable for buildings of four units or more because they already pay for private scavenger service.
"For a house that is worth about $250,000, annual property taxes are expected to increase by about $500. (According to Investopedia, houses currently on the market in Chicago have a median price of about $200,00).

For homes that currently receive free garbage pick-up, a fee of $9.50 per month, which would be added to water bills, could be implemented.

And while it seems those two charges might mostly affect property owners in the city, it’s likely many landlords will pass the increases on to tenants through rent increases."
UU Note:  Ald. Tunney (44th Ward) isn't an Uptown alderman, but in his statement regarding his yes vote, he mentions increasing the police presence in the 19th District, which includes Uptown south of Lawrence Avenue.
"I have been assured that 35 additional police officers will be assigned to the 19th District in 2016, including 25 in the first quarter and another ten during the rest of the year.  This is in addition to the eight officers that will be transferring to the 19th District in November.
[...] The final reason I voted yes today was because there is no doubt that the men and women of the Chicago Police and Chicago Fire departments are our "Finest" and "Bravest" citizens. Our city could not survive without them. The fact is that as their employer, the City of Chicago made contractual obligations to them with regard to their pensions that must be met, and this budget does that.  It is unfortunate that the funding levels were allowed to dip so low and huge lump sum payments need to be made. That is not the fault of our hard working police officers and firefighters who have contributed their share all along, but that was the reality with which the City Council had to deal today."  Ald. Tunney's entire statement is here.

Art and Craft Documentary At The Bezazian

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Northbound Red Line To Run Express Between Sheridan and Loyola Next Two Weekends

From Ald. Osterman's latest newsletter:

"Northbound Red Line trains will run express from Sheridan to Loyola over two upcoming weekends.

Due to crews performing track work as part of the Purple Express Improvement Project, northbound (to Howard) Red Line trains will bypass the Wilson, Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn, Bryn Mawr, Thorndale and Granville stations beginning at 10pm Friday, October 30 until 4am Monday, November 2. The same express service will be in effect the following weekend, from 10pm Friday, November 6 to 4am Monday, November 9.

The stations will remain open at this time. Customers who want to travel northbound (to Howard) from the affected stations will need first to travel south to Sheridan and transfer to a northbound (to Howard) train. Northbound (to Howard) customers who want to exit at the affected stations will need to travel to Howard and transfer to a southbound (to 95th/Dan Ryan) train.

Southbound trains will serve all stations during this time. Customers are advised to allow extra travel time during these weekend periods."

The good news?  According to the CTA, the Purple Line track improvements -- the goal of which is to eliminate slow zones between Lawrence and Jarvis -- are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015.  Hang in there, it's nearly over.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Take A Tree Tour of Graceland

While many people know that Graceland Cemetery is a beautiful and historic place, it's not as well known that it's a certified arboretum with more than 50 different types of trees. We took a stroll around on Monday and it's a sight to see with the changing foliage. If you'd like to see the fall colors in full display right here in Uptown, the cemetery offers a self-guided tree tour. You can read more about it and download a map here; maps are also available at the office, located just inside the gates at Irving Park and Clark. Completely free!

Click to enlarge each photo for clearer versions -- somehow they got blurry when the software sized them to our column width.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Wilson Closed Monday Through Friday For Track Installation

A reminder that Wilson between Broadway and Clifton will be closed all week while the CTA works on the new track installation.

"October 26 through October 30, to perform steel installation

Work Hours will be Monday through Friday (24/7 Closure)

Impact to Community:
  • Wilson Ave. will be closed to vehicular traffic but open to pedestrian traffic
  • Limits of operation will be between Wilson & Broadway to Wilson & Clifton
  • Station entrance at Wilson will remain in operation
  • Bus #78 will be rerouted and will not stop at Wilson
  • Service drive for Truman College will remain accessible
  • There will be dust/noise while work is being performed"
As always, remember that the shops in the construction areas are not attracting all their usual customers during construction. So if you're looking for a place to eat or shop, keep them in mind. A list of the Broadway and Wilson shops and addresses is here.

Now & Then, Sheridan & Lawrence

FLATS No. 1020 W. Lawrence as seen today, with more windows and one less fire escape

Looking west on Lawrence from Sheridan in 1981 (C. William Brubaker)

Friday, October 23, 2015

"The Public Art of Uptown" Walking Tour Saturday

The Uptown branch of Chicago Public Library is hosting a walking tour Saturday called "The Public Art of Uptown." It will leave the library (929 West Buena) at 2:30pm and return at 4pm.  The description reads:  "Urbanologist Max Grinnell leads walking tours this fall, exploring the neighborhoods of Chicago and what they've contributed to the city's growth. Walking tours will meet at the assigned libraries and leave from there, rain or shine."

Have fun!

Stewart School Sold, Pending CPS Approval

From Alderman Cappleman's weekly newsletter:

"CPS has chosen  Morningside's proposal as the top bid for the sale of Stewart School. The next step in this process is for the Chicago Board of Education to formally approve the decision at their monthly meeting next week.

Back in 2014, I asked the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) to host a series of public meetings at the Clarendon Park Fieldhouse to get feedback from the community about what you wanted to see developed at this site. Thanks to all of you who attended these meetings that included experts in planning, development, and representatives from Chicago Public Schools (CPS). MPC used your input to assist CPS with crafting a Request for Proposal for developers who would express interest with reusing this property. Click here to view MPC's report that was provided to CPS.

Four different developers submitted proposals. CPS selected the highest bid that took the suggestions from the community into account. At a later point in time, Morningside will submit their formal plans for this property and residents will have an opportunity to provide their feedback at a 46th Ward Zoning & Development Committee meeting. Residents will also get a chance to view the submitted plans in the "Projects" section of our website at

The Broadway/Wilson corridor is going through an incredible transformation at this time, and much of it has been due to the rehab of the Wilson L Stop.  The Stewart School proposal will further compliment other new developments to make this a more vibrant area."

"Explore Chicago Collections" Archive Now Online, Uptown Theatre Construction Photos Included

An absolute treasure trove of photos has just been made available for Chicago history enthusiasts.
From the ECC website:
"Most libraries and museums provide detailed guides to their archives that researchers can consult on the web prior to visiting in person. Until now, researchers had to know (or guess) in advance which libraries were likely to have relevant materials.
Explore Chicago Collections brings those guides together into a single gateway to Chicago resources. By searching Explore Chicago Collections, you can easily tell which archives you'll need to consult to research your subject, and you may even discover resources in unexpected places.
Explore Chicago Collections also provides access to digitized images from those collections where possible. With over 100,000 digitized images available, you can explore fascinating imagery from Chicago-area archives covering the city's architecture, people, politics, history, culture and more."

Here are a few photos showing the construction of the Uptown Theatre. There are many more on the site. Most of these are extremely rare.

Looking west from Broadway at what would become the lobby of the Uptown Theatre. Magnolia is visible in background. (ECC)

The Uptown Theatre begins to rise. Looking NE from Lawrence (ECC)

The future site of the Uptown Theatre when it was still used as a Beer Garden in 1924 (ECC)

The Uptown Theatre shortly after completion (ECC)

Uptown Theatre under construction in 1924 (ECC)

Looking west from Broadway at what would become the main entrance of the Uptown Theatre (ECC)
The Uptown Theatre upon completion (ECC)
Looking south on Broadway towards the Uptown Theatre (ECC)
The Uptown Theatre on opening day (ECC)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Status Check: Self Storage Nears Completion At 5026 N. Sheridan

The future home of Safeguard Self Storage at 5026 N. Sheridan
A rendering of the completed project

The self storage facility at 5026 N. Sheridan is looks almost complete, at least from the outside. More info on the project can be found here.

Corners Of Lawrence & Clark Continue Transformation

The SW corner of Lawrence & Clark
We noticed that the beautiful vintage building owned by Vequity on the SW corner of Lawrence and Clark is getting some exterior TLC. The 2nd floor residential has been gutted and now the exterior is being freshened up. No word yet on what new retail we can expect. New windows on the retail level will surely liven up the streetscape and can be seen in the rendering below.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The BoB Goes "Evil" For Halloween

October is a particularly evil month and The Bar on Buena (910 West Buena) is excited to recognize the sinister nature of this time of year by designating Evil Twin Brewing as its Brewery of the Month. For the month of October, The BOB has a rotating selection of some very rare Evil Twin brews. Tuesdays are Evil Twin Nights and there will be Evil Twin beer specials and screenings of some frightening flicks to get everyone in the Halloween mood. This all leads up to…

EVIL TWIN DEVIL’S NIGHT EVIL COSTUME BASH! Join The BoB on Friday, October 30 (Devil’s Night!) at 7 pm for a night of frightening flicks, macabre music, spooky spirits and an Evil Costume Contest. Costumes will be judged in the nine o’clock hour and prizes for the most evil costumes will be given out. Beers start at $6.  No cover charge; food and drink will be available for purchase.

For more information visit the Facebook Event Page.