Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Former Decibel Bar Building To Convert To Residential With Ground Floor Retail/Restaurant

A building permit has been filed to convert the former Decibel Bar building into a restaurant/retail space at street level with a dwelling unit above.

The site, at 4437 North Broadway, has been the home of several clubs and restaurants over the past couple decades: Frankie J's, then The Spot, and most recently, Decibel Bar. It has been vacant for several years, and has recently been listed both for sale and for lease.

It was originally built in 1909 and functioned as a funeral home, with the chapel and reception rooms on the ground floor. The undertaker and his family lived above, on the second floor. You can still see the word "CHAPEL" over the main entrance door.

Retrofitting the second floor into a residential space will be returning that part of the building to its roots.

It has the potential to be amazing, with beautiful terra cotta ornamentation on the exterior of the building, and second-floor windows that look like they were designed for stained glass. Each level consists of about 1750 square feet.

We'll keep an eye on the site and see what develops.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Hey There, Rosie!

The weather is nice, and Rosie the Buena Park Pig is back to making frequent appearances in her yard. A reader who prefers to remain anonymous sent in these photos of Rosie, taken a few days ago.

If you've yet to learn about Rosie, she's a neighborhood favorite who lives at the SE corner of Hutchinson and Clarendon.  She can frequently be seen in her yard when she's feeling social. You can follow her on Facebook here.

If you have more questions, check out this video from Localish:

Thursday, May 21, 2020

St. Boniface Memorial Day Field Mass Goes Virtual This Year

St. Boniface Cemetery traditionally holds a Memorial Day field mass to remember those who died in service to their country.

But, this is 2020 and everything's different.

While all Catholic Cemeteries will be open to visitors on Monday, masses will be available only online beginning at 8:30am.

Services will be offered in English, Polish and Spanish, and can be accessed at www.CatholicCemeteriesChicago.org.

Visitors to cemeteries are asked to wear face masks and gather in groups of ten or fewer people.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Track Work This Weekend Triggers "Noise Alert"

The Red/Purple Line Modernization project will be working on the tracks between Lawrence and Thorndale this weekend.
  • Dates: Friday, May 22 to Tuesday, May 26, 2020
  • Location: Red and Purple Lines – CTA southbound tracks from Lawrence Station to Thorndale Station
  • Work Hours: 10pm Friday to 4am Tuesday (Continuous around-the-clock work)
  • Work Activity: Contact Rail Replacement
Local Impact:
  • A crane will be staged in the parking lot at 1130 W. Lawrence.
  • There will be noise while work is being performed. Noise will include:
  • General construction noise
  • Use of pneumatic tools
  • Metal on metal material handling
  • Noise from rail equipment, crane and maintenance equipment 
  • Beeping for backup alarms on maintenance equipment and vehicles
  • Flagging horns
  • This is rolling construction work. No singular location outside of the area where the crane is staged will have constant noise while the work activity is taking place. 

Oh Happy Day! Funding Approved For First Phase of Clarendon Park Fieldhouse Improvements

Today is a good day for Uptown! The City Council has approved a plan to pay for the first phase of restoring the Clarendon Park Fieldhouse, which will correct the worst problems of its crumbling infrastructure.

According to the statement released by the city, Phase One will include
  • concrete and masonry restoration
  • new interior finishes
  • new plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems
  • ADA-access upgrades. 
Total cost for this phase of the renovations will be $13million. $6.9million will come from the Clarendon-Montrose TIF, $4.6million will come from Montrose Clarendon Partners LLC (developers of the 811 Uptown apartment complex), and $1.6million will be provided by the Chicago Park District.

On Monday, after the Finance Committee of the City Council approved the deal, Ald. Cappleman posted on Facebook:
"Had we waited until the year 2034 for sufficient TIF to accrue to do this rehab, the building would have fallen into more disrepair and would have required demolition. Instead, we had the developer contribute the entire TIF amount into a fund and now he will get paid back in 2034. This win feels good."
After the necessary renovations have been made to keep the fieldhouse standing, Phase Two will add features to enhance the building for those who use it.

According to Ald. Cappleman's 2019 summary:
"The second stage of this extensive renovation will complete the full project when additional funds are raised. The rehab will include draining work to prevent further flooding, a new gym, redesigned meeting rooms, and a new dance space for Kuumba Lynx."
We've been hearing about the necessity for an improved and safer fieldhouse since 2010, when then-Ald. Shiller created the Montrose-Clarendon TIF.  One of the stated reasons for the TIF was the renovation of the fieldhouse.

After a decade of votes, debates, community meetings, and open houses, it's good to see the financing finally in place. We'll let you know more about the restorations as we find out more.

The fieldhouse was built in 1916 and was known as Clarendon Municipal Bathing Beach. But time has not been kind to it, and by 2015, it was listed by Preservation Chicago as one of Chicago's most endangered buildings.

We are so happy to know that this once-magnificent building will be preserved!

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Get Loud in Buena Park on Friday Night!

New Date! 48th Ward Virtual Town Hall Meeting

48th Ward Virtual Town Hall Meeting
Wednesday, May 27th, 7pm

Online - 48th Ward Facebook Live

Join Alderman Osterman for a Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, May 27th.

The meeting will be streamed on the 48th Ward Facebook page, please be sure to tune in at 7pm! If you do not have a Facebook account, you can still watch the video.

This is an opportunity to get updates about the City's Coronavirus response, as well as other updates about 48th Ward happenings. There will be an opportunity for Q&A and we will do our best to ensure every question is answered.

If you would like to send in questions in advance, please email ally@48thward.org. Additionally, if you have questions about how to participate without a Facebook account, please email Ally.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Join Powerful Women, Sponsored By Black Ensemble Theater

Click here for the Facebook Event page.

"State of Uptown" Virtual Luncheon On Thursday

Join Uptown's aldermen and Rep. Jan Schakowsky on Thursday, May 21st, noon to 1:30pm for a virtual luncheon (via Zoom) and to hear what's going on in Uptown.

"The annual State of Uptown event convenes Uptown's business, development and non-profit community to hear from our elected officials.

Join us virtually this year as we hear from our local elected officials:
  • U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky
  • 40th Ward: Alderman Andre Vasquez
  • 46th Ward: Alderman James Cappleman
  • 47th Ward: Alderman Matt Martin
  • 48th Ward: Alderman Harry Osterman

TICKETS:   $10.00 (plus fees)* Click here to register.
*All Members of Business Partners, The Chamber for Uptown are eligible for $5.00 tickets.  The discount code has been sent via email.  Contact Greg Carroll for more details - greg@exploreuptown.org

Once you've purchased your ticket(s), you'll receive a confirmation email from us with a link to the Zoom meeting.

All funding collected through this event goes to support the work of Uptown United and Business Partners, The Chamber for Uptown whose joint mission is to lead efforts to build a strong, unified business environment; facilitate economic development; and strengthen community – all to nurture a diverse, vibrant, thriving and strong Uptown.

SUPPORT OUR LOCAL RESTAURANTS! Given that this annual event is typically a luncheon - please consider ordering delivery or pick-up from your favorite Uptown spot to continue the tradition of supporting local businesses.  If you need some ideas, please click here!"

Friday, May 15, 2020

COVID-19 Tests Available At No Charge Through Swedish (Covenant) Hospital

According to the hospital's website on COVID testing, "Our testing tent is open to all community members, with or without insurance. You do not need to have a physician's order. An appointment time will be assigned to you."

The testing center is located at 2899 Carmen.

Street Sweeping To Resume Next Week

Ald. Cappleman sent out an email blast today about street sweeping resuming.
"Street sweeping will resume [UU Note: On Monday, May 18, according to the City's website]. Our office has received additional information, and ticketing will not occur during the Stay at Home order. You can see the full street sweeping schedule and learn more on our website. When your street is scheduled for sweeping, please move your car if you are able - street sweeping now prevents street flooding later."

We strongly recommend signing up for messages from SweepAround.Us for reminders.

Streetside Concert At Wilson Yard Performed By Singer John Vincent

John Vincent, who's made a name for himself singing the National Anthem at many Chicago teams' games, has been doing streetside concerts in front of senior homes all over the area. On Wednesday, he sang for the seniors at Wilson Yard, setting up in the middle of Montrose near Kenmore.

The photos are from the 19th Police District's Twitter (they were one of the sponsors) and the video is courtesy of Uptown United.

Next time there's a "Spreading Some Love" event in Uptown, we will try to let you know in advance.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Miss Being In The Office? Play The Office Virtual Trivia Night On Thursday

From Fat Cat, 4840 North Broadway:

Join us for our virtual trivia house party this Thursday at 8pm. We had such a blast seeing so many familiar faces we cannot wait to do it all again!

Let’s be honest, the longer we each spend in isolation the more we are all becoming our own versions of Michael Scott. Look deep inside yourself and ask, are you a Jim or a Dwight? Maybe it’s time to admit we’ve all been a bit more Meredith than usual.

Come celebrate all your favorite characters and use The Office Trivia as a great excuse to binge watch your favorite TV show for the fourth time in a calendar year (hey, we aren’t counting). Please RSVP by noon on Thursday to receive an invite to our Zoom and game application.


Pro move: Swipe some $6 Quarantini’s from Fat Cat’s Thursday night martini special and settle in with your favorite hosts, James and Amanda for a night of awkward impressions and mass hilarity. Prizes will be awarded. Bonus points if you BYO bobble head.