Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Clarendon Park Neighborhood Association To Meet Next Tuesday

If you live on or east of Broadway between Wilson and Montrose, come get involved in your block club!

CRG Officially Breaks Ground On 4555 N. Sheridan

Dan Eicht (Clayco), Dan Lester (Clayco), Ald. Cappleman, Tressa Feher (46th Ward Chief of Staff)
Curtis Florence(Clayco), Tom Bohac (Clayco), Sandra Marks (Clayco Senior Vice-President)
CHICAGO, June 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- CRG, Clayco's real estate development group, is breaking ground to develop a multifamily apartment building in Chicago's historic Uptown neighborhood at the intersection of Sheridan Road and Wilson Avenue. The development is located two blocks from the Red Line Wilson Stop at 4555 North Sheridan Road and a ground-breaking ceremony will take place today at 11:00 a.m. CST. Construction will proceed throughout the next year, with delivery of the building and occupancy planned for July 2019.

"The long neglected Uptown neighborhood is emerging from its shell," CRG Principal Jay Case said. "New developments, including apartments and an urban Target, historically significant entertainment venues and the proximity to the lakefront make Uptown an exciting place to live."

Clayco will serve as the design-builder and its subsidiary, BatesForum is the architect on the project. Capital partners include POB Capital and Principal Real Estate Investors. This project will also extend CRG's work with Chicago-based minority and women-owned firms and continue to build the pipeline of minorities and women in the trades, as CRG works with subcontracting partners to create and sustain jobs for those who live in the community.

When completed, this transit-oriented development will contain 149 apartments in a twelve-story
Aerial view of the groundbreaking (Ryan Brevard)
glass tower with 5,000-square-feet of ground floor retail space and 29 parking spots.  Residents will be able to enjoy cutting edge amenities such as a 2,000-square-foot rooftop deck with views of Downtown Chicago, a coffee bar, exercise facility, business center and dog salon.

"The Sheridan and Wilson development is an exciting addition to CRG's multifamily footprint and portfolio," CRG President Shawn Clark said. "CRG committed to expanding its multifamily platform in 2015.  Since then, we have developed a meaningful portfolio in strategic markets across North America."

CRG is currently developing AM 1980, a multifamily rental building in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood located at the intersection of Milwaukee and Armitage Avenues. Additionally, CRG recently completed student housing high-rise developments in St. Louis and Cleveland.     

For more information about the development at Sheridan Road and Wilson Avenue, visit realcrg.com/project/Sheridan-Wilson/.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Windy City Ribfest Kicks Off July Fourth Holiday Weekend

Windy City RibFest
Lawrence & Broadway
  • Friday, June 29 (12pm-10pm)
  • Saturday, June 30 (12pm-10pm)
  • Sunday, July 1 (12pm-9pm)
$5 suggested donation – a portion of the proceeds benefits Business Partners, the Chamber for Uptown

It’s a saucy summer happening! From tasty slabs (and sides) to a smokin’ music lineup, this pre-Fourth of July party in the eclectic Uptown neighborhood brings its A-game on when it returns for its 10th anniversary year! 

Beyond the flavorful offerings of top local and national ribbers and cool summer tunes, this popular three-day fest also features arts & crafts plus an activity area for kids and families.  And with the vibrant Broadway-Lawrence intersection boasting acclaimed Chicago music venues that include The Green Mill, Aragon Ballroom and Riviera nightclub, Windy City Ribfest is the perfect urban destination for both daytime and evening fun.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Copper Cornice Comeback

Newly constructed copper cornice meets the 109 year old cornice
The Stewart School Lofts are nearing completion as new residents move into the unique floorplans to enjoy amenities like a gorgeous rooftop deck with beautiful views of the city.

Outside, Morningside Development has been hard at work with tuckpointing, installing a new roof and repairing the copper cornice that was sagging in sections and in danger of falling completely off.
Take a good look at the copper cornice as this is how the cornice would have looked shortly after construction was completed in 1905. The green cornice we know so well is the result of how copper patinas over time. We assume that it will be helped along in the aging process so that it matches the rest of the cornice. Either way, it looks gorgeous.

We love seeing buildings in Uptown brought back to their former glory.
Graeme Stewart School, shortly after completion in 1905 (B Latoza)

Excessive Heat Warning Today Through Monday Night

It's gonna be crazy hot and humid through Monday night, with little relief after the sun sets. WGN says that "Conditions similar to the 1995 deadly heat wave could evolve." This is serious stuff. So we urge you to not only be careful for yourself, but for your pets and most vulnerable neighbors.

While you may have air conditioning, not everyone does, so please remember to check in on neighbors and friends who may not, or who don't want to use it due to costs. Every year we have the sad duty of reporting the heat-related death of someone in Uptown, usually someone who lives alone and is found in a closed-up home. Let's do our collective best to not let that happen this summer.

Below is the City's flyer on how to handle the heat. Remember that
  • several of Uptown's parks have water features to keep kids cool
  • there's a cooling center at 845 West Wilson (at Hazel) 
  • Gill Park, Chase Park, Welles Park and Uplift High School have public swimming pools
  • libraries, police stations, and park fieldhouses are cooling centers as well
And this shouldn't have to be said, but don't leave your kids or your pets in a parked car. Call 911 immediately if you see this.

Good luck! May the blackouts be few and may the weather get temperate soon.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Shop At Provisions Uptown Wednesday and Support Your Local Library

Provisions Uptown is located at 4812 North Broadway, next to the historic Uptown Theater. If you haven't been there yet, this is a great reason to try it! Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream, locally sourced goods, delicious treats (both sweet and savory). Plus, it's a great way to support the programming and community outreach at the Bezazian Branch Library.

A Facelift For Aldi

Upcoming entrance to Aldi directly on the corner of Broadway & Sunnyside

Current view of Aldi with "garden" (Google)
Upcoming Broadway elevation of Aldi (46th Ward Office)
Ald. Cappleman just released the plans for the upcoming remodeling of Aldi at 4500 N. Broadway in his latest newsletter. Work is expected to begin later this month.

Expect to see an updated exterior that reflects the latest Aldi branding and interior design. The steel beams that were added to distract from the lack of windows, and the taller translucent portion on the corner, will be removed.

New windows, though small and too high for our taste, will be added along the Broadway facade. The store will be expanded out to the lot line with a corner entrance directly on Broadway and Sunnyside.

Inside, expect wider aisles, better lighting and higher ceilings.

We are most happy to see the removal of the "garden" along Broadway that had more weeds than flowers most of the time. The tall, overgrown garden also provided a good hideout for not-so-great activities along the front side of the building.

2007 plans for Aldi showing the Broadway entrance
and trees instead of the garden
"Old-timers" might recall that back in 2007, the entrance was planned for the front corner, but was changed shortly before construction began and moved to the back parking lot. Despite renderings of people going through a front door (seen right), the community was told that there was never a front door planned, and that those people were merely "touching" the building because it was so beautiful. Still makes us laugh, even now.

The garden plot was also not in the initial plan, just trees. We are told that the back entrance will remain.

We will be much closer to the plan that was originally presented to the community over 11 years ago after this remodeling.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Honorary Street Sign Celebrates The Life Of The Bezazian Branch Library's Namesake

On Saturday, there was a ceremony honoring the namesake of the Bezazian Branch Library, Lt. Harold A. Bezazian. As the plaque inside the library says, "This branch library is a fitting and living memorial to the life of an outstanding young American, born and reared in Uptown Chicago, who loved books and learning, and who had dedicated his life to a writer's career until he volunteered for military service and gave his life for his country."

The honorary street sign is right outside the library's doors, at 1226 West Ainslie. The brief ceremony took place at 11am and was attended by several members of the Bezazian family, including Harold's nephew and namesake, who came to Chicago specifically for the occasion. Branch Manager Mark Kaplan spoke, as did Alderman Cappleman, and Harold and Paulette Bezazian.

You can read more about the library's history as a gift to Uptown in memory of Lt. Bezazian here.

Branch Manager Mark Kaplan

Ald. Cappleman (left), Mark Kaplan, and members of the Bezazian family, including
Harold A. Bezazian of California, the original Harold's nephew (next to the alderman).

Simon Wood, the son of one of the members of the Friends of Bezazian advocacy group,
did the honors and unveiled the street sign. (Photos provided by Friends of Bezazian.)

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Christopher House Alum Honored At Annual Gala

Elizabeth Akinbusuyi (Zachary Johnson Photography)
Christopher House held its annual gala dinner last month and took the opportunity to honor a woman who epitomizes its success, Elizabeth Akinbusuyi.

For those who don't know, Christopher House is a 112-year-old organization that offers care and education for low-income children, from birth through eighth grade, and also provides after-school and parenting programs.

Its mission is to create stable, self-sufficient families through its programs in Uptown, Belmont Cragin, and Logan Square. Its elementary school was recently ranked in the top 1 percent of all Chicago Public Schools. The Uptown location, at 4701 North Winthrop, serves nearly 200 families annually, including infants as young as six weeks old.

Elizabeth first came to Christopher House's Uptown location as a child who had recently arrived in this country from Nigeria. Her mother had two toddlers, a full-time job, and a husband away in the military. Elizabeth remembers that Christopher House provided a safe environment for her and her sister and made her parents know that they had a support system, providing everything from diapers to after-school care.

Even when Elizabeth began at Rickover Academy, Christopher House remained in her life, as she volunteered there throughout her high school career to give back some of what she had received. She received a full-ride scholarship to Howard University, and the staff threw her a trunk party to help supply some of her college needs.

Her mom, the overworked parent who turned to Christopher House and found much-needed support? She became a teacher there herself, and is now site director at the Uptown campus. Elizabeth continues to be part of encouraging the current generation of students: she is a Christopher House Youth Leadership Coordinator.

She says, "No matter how I tell my story, or who I tell it to, Christopher House will always be a part of it."

If you'd like to learn more about this wonderful Uptown organization, visit its website.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Pride Parties At Driftwood Bar

Love To Read? Book Sale This Saturday!

Movies At Buttercup Season Begins Saturday

Alfred Hitchcock's 'Rebecca'

Hosted by Victor Herrera

Saturday, June 9th at 8:15 PM - 11:15 PM
Buttercup Park Uptown
4901 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, Illinois 60640
FREE, of course

When most people think of Alfred Hitchcock, the first films that come to mind are Psycho, Vertigo, The Birds or even Strangers on a Train. Rarely do we hear anyone talk about Rebecca.

Daphne Du Maurier, who originally penned Rebecca, also wrote the following stories that were turned into film, The Birds, Jamaica Inn (both directed by Hitchcock) and Don't Look Now.

This was Alfred Hitchcock's first American film.

The entire Buttercup season is listed here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Wingstop Coming To Former Payless Space At Broadway & Wilson

Fans of wings with yummy sauces like mango habanero or spicy Korean will be happy to know that national chicken wing chain "Wingstop" is expanding to Uptown!

A location recently opened in Lakeview at 3720 N. Broadway, but now Uptowners can look forward to our own Wingstop location at 4547 N. Broadway. You might recall this spot was home to Payless Shoesource for many years, until the company filed bankruptcy last May and closed this location along with 408 others.

A construction permit was issued yesterday, so expect the build-out of the space to begin at any time, to the tune of an estimated $120,000.

Check out the full menu here.