Monday, September 16, 2019

Hear Bill Savage Talk About The City Logical: Edward P. Brennan Makes Sense of the Grid

Welcome local historian and NU professor Bill Savage for a talk on his forthcoming book The City Logical at the Bezazian Branch Library this Wednesday!

"While most Chicagoans know about Daniel Burnham and "the City Beautiful" movement, few recall that the same year the Plan of Chicago was published, 1909, the city regularized its street address system, and began a long (and unfinished) process of making street names consistent across town.

Rogers Parker Edward P. Brennan was the free-lance urban planner and political gadfly who made State and Madison Streets the East-West and North-South axes of our grid, and worked to make Chicago a city logical, one where old-timers and newcomers alike could make their way around town easily.

In this lecture, Bill Savage will explore the history of Brennan's work in relation to Rogers Park and the rest of town, and see how exceptions to the rules of Chicago's grid teach us historical lessons.

Bill Savage is Professor of Instruction in the English Department at Northwestern University, where he teaches the course, "The Chicago Way: Urban Spaces and American Values."  He has published widely on many Chicago topics, and is a lifelong resident of Rogers Park."

Wednesday, September 18th
Bezazian Branch Library
1226 West Ainslie, at Magnolia

CAPS Meeting For Beat 1912 Is Tuesday At Sulzer Library

The CAPS meeting for Beat 1912 is Tuesday, September 17th, at 7pm. It takes place at the Sulzer Library, 4455 N Lincoln.  The beat's boundaries are Lawrence, Clark, Irving Park, and Damen, which puts it just west of our coverage area, but it is still technically part of Uptown.

The meetings take place on the third Tuesday of odd-numbered months, and are combined with Beat 1911.

If you are concerned about crime in your community, and want to talk to the beat officers and CAPS officers about what is going on, this is the best place to do it. If you have a concern that you'd rather not voice publicly, you can speak to an officer after the meeting.

A complete listing of all Uptown's CAPS beat meetings and schedules is available here.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Andersonville Downzoning Community Meeting

From Ald. Martin's weekly newsletter:

"SoFoZoCo, the South of Foster Zoning Committee, is proposing downzoning parts of Andersonville and Uptown, from the south side of Foster through the south side of Argyle and from the east side of Clark to the west side of Broadway.

Rezoning would not include any B (business districts) or pockets already zoned RS-3.

Our office is hosting a community meeting at 6:30PM Wednesday, Sept. 18 at St. Augustine College, 1345 W. Argyle.

Get your questions answered by housing and planning experts:

  • Sarah Duda | DePaul Institute for Housing Studies
  • Steve Vance | Urban Planner
  • Steve Valenziano | City of Chicago, Assistant Zoning Administrator

No parking available on-site. St. Augustine’s parking lot is restricted to student use only.

RSVP and submit questions at"

"Lost Uptown: The Rainbo Roller Rink"

Saturday, September 21, 2019
Bezazian Branch Library, 1226 West Ainslie

From the earliest jazz, dancing and political rallies to jai alai, ice skating, roller skating, boxing and rock'n'roll concerts, this entertainment venue had it all. Many Chicagoans remember having their first kiss, dance or skate there -- or maybe all three. Later, the Rainbo was also important to the deejay, hip-hop and graffiti art scene.

Local journalist and historian Andy Pierce will share great historic photos and interesting information to help bring this memorable place of Lost Chicago back to life. You may remember Andy as one of the founders of Friends of the Uptown Theatre and a as a presenter at Bezazian on the history of the Uptown. He was a reporter for Lerner Newspapers and served the City of Chicago in the Department of Buildings and in the City Council Division. Andy recently exhibited his Rainbo photographs at the Sulzer Regional Library.

This program is sponsored by the Friends of Bezazian. For more information about the Friends, please check out their Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of the Digital Research Library of Illinois History Journal, from its in-depth article about the Rainbo.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Community Meeting About Clarendon Park Fieldhouse on September 19th

From Ald. Cappleman's latest newsletter:

"Community members have participated in conversations on two major planning projects. We are pleased to present the results of their hard work at two upcoming community meetings:

  • WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 19 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
  • WHERE: Clarendon Park Community Center; 4501 N. Clarendon
After community input, a decision was made to do a limited renovation of the current fieldhouse. The purpose of this meeting is to provide the details of the planned rehab, along with more information about the next steps.

The project is made possible by the passage of the Clarendon/Montrose Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) District, which contributed $4.6 million to the Chicago Park District to use for this site. The Park District will fundraise the remainder of the cost.

Hope to see many of you at these two very important meetings!"

For more about the other meeting referenced, the "Redefine the Drive" September meeting, click here.

Community Meeting About Lake Shore Drive Ramps On Thursday, September 26th

click to enlarge

From Ald. Cappleman's latest newsletter:

  • WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 26 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
  • WHERE: Truman College; Larry McKeon Center, 1145 W. Wilson
The Chicago Department of Transportation and the Illinois Department of Transportation have created a task force exploring reconstruction of Lake Shore Drive. This will require changes to the Montrose, Wilson, and Lawrence ramps.

We have conducted two meetings to discuss this process and this will be the final in the series.

Previously, the community was presented 12 options for promoting safety, mobility, park access, and green space along Lake Shore Drive; this meeting will discuss the final four designs. Community feedback has been important in moving this project forward, and we look forward to hearing more from residents.

Hope to see many of you at these two very important meetings!"

For more about the other meeting referenced, the Clarendon House Fieldhouse Renovations September meeting, click here.

What Stories Would Chicago's Statues Tell?

Chicago Market Ownership Info Session At Uptown Branch Library on Saturday

"Please join Chicago Market Owners and Board members at the Uptown Branch of the Chicago Public Library for an informative session on what Chicago Market is, becoming an Owner, and to answer any questions you may have.

Learn how you can become a part of this exciting new start-up that will change the way you shop for groceries. Owners and Board members will be on hand to answer your questions and tell you more about the Market. And we'll be prepared to sign up new Owners who are ready to buy a stake in this cooperative grocery store.

If you're a small business owner, come learn how becoming a Business Owner of Chicago Market can benefit us both!

Come learn how YOU can make a difference in your community by becoming an Owner.

Ownership Info Session
  • Saturday, September 14, 11:00am-12:00pm
  • Uptown Branch, Chicago Public Library
  • 929 W. Buena
We look forward to seeing you there!"

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Longacre To Close To Make Way For More Plant-Based Cuisine

A reader sent this our way. We look forward to the deli and the new concept, but we'll really miss the Detroit-style pizza.

Clifton Avenue Street Art Gallery Continues To Grow, More Murals To Come

We love seeing the 4600 block of Clifton Avenue become awash with color and art!

The third, and most recent, mural to appear is Bison by Rodney Duran. Duran is a Chicago-based muralist who also did the jungle cat mural on Wilson a couple weeks ago. You can read more about him at Rodney Duran Art.

We won't miss the previous version of this wall.


We are told that up to four more murals are planned, and are hoped to be completed by Taste of Uptown on September 26th. Can't wait to see them take shape.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Eight Uptown Sites Featured In This Year's Open House Chicago

Open House Chicago, where you can go "behind the scenes" at 350+ locations all over the city, just announced its sites for the 2019 event, which takes place the weekend of October 19th & 20th. (It's how a reader got access to the last days of the Agudas Achim synagogue in 2012, documenting its beauty and squalor.)

Uptown is well-represented, as usual. Its sites include:
  • 5040-5060 North Marine Drive Condominiums, a 1939 residence featuring Art Deco designs. Open Saturday, 10/19: 10am-4pm and Sunday, 10/20: noon-4pm
  • Buddhist Temple of Chicago, one of the oldest temples in the city with a modern design and altars built by Japanese-Americans interned in camps during WWII. Open Saturday, 10/19: 10am-5pm and Sunday, 10/20: 1pm-5pm
  • Garfield Clarendon Model Railroad Club, a longtime crowd-pleaser with one of the largest operating model railroads in the country. Open Saturday, 10/19: 10am-4pm and Sunday, 10/20: 10am-4pm
  • ICA GreenRise, landmark terra cotta building that has become one of the most eco-friendly places in the city. Open Saturday, 10/19: 10am-5pm and Sunday, 10/20: 10am-5pm
  • Lawrence House. Nearly a century old, it went from posh to faded to dangerously dilapidated to posh again. See its restored lobby, pool, and back patio. Open Saturday, 10/19: 10am-5pm and Sunday, 10/20: 10am-5pm
  • Preston Bradley Center, the site from which Preston Bradley preached his sermons, heard by many millions on radio across the world. See its beautiful 1200-seat sanctuary and its many murals. Open Saturday, 10/19: 10am-5pm and Sunday, 10/20: 1pm-5pm
  • St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church, which dates back to 1917. A gilded gold ceiling, Italian carrara marble, and stained glass windows created in Germany. Open Saturday, 10/19: 10am-4:15pm and Sunday, 10/20: 11:30am-12:45pm, 2pm-5pm
  • St. Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Church, with its American Neoclassical design, is restrained when compared to most other Roman Catholic churches in Chicago. Its windows celebrate the cultural diversity of "the Parish that speaks five languages." Open Saturday, 10/19: 10am-5pm and closed to OHC visitors on Sunday.
You can see all the sites in Chicago here. If you love exploring the city and its secrets, this is a weekend not to be missed!

Friday, September 6, 2019

New Developments For Some Familiar Faces

Recent developments in the professional lives of two of the candidates in this year's 46th Ward aldermanic race:

  • ANGELA CLAY is now a part of the staff at Uplift High School. From a recent Uplift newsletter:

    "Angela Clay is our new Community Engagement Coordinator. This position, which is new to Uplift, is designed to ensure that Uplift continues to be an involved neighbor in the Uptown community and City of Chicago, at large. Angela's portfolio includes organizing and administering Uplift's recruitment efforts, planning for student life, and outreach to current and future community members."

    You can keep up with all things Uplift here.

  • ERIKA WOZNIAK FRANCIS announced this week on social media:

    "Today would have been my first day of my 16th year teaching in Chicago Public Schools. Instead, I spent it in my new role at Chief of Staff to 39th Ward Alderman Samantha Nugent greeting students at schools across the ward.

    It is a pleasure and an honor to lend my years of experience and my voice in this new capacity. I’m thrilled to work with Alderman Nugent, one of the new class of incredible women leaders who have joined City Council in the new term, and to serve the communities of the #39thWard."

    The 39th Ward was most recently represented by long-time alderman Margaret Laurino, and includes part of Sauganash, Old Irving Park, North Park, and North Mayfair.

Congratulations and best of luck in your new endeavors, Erika and Angela.