"Curves," a gym for women, is packing up and high-tailing it out of Uptown and we can't imagine why. A female gym just steps from a SRO packed with sex offenders that loiter on the sidewalk and cat-call women as they walk by? We wonder why they couldn't make it work. "Wilson Club Hotel" needs to be shut down. That needs to be top priority now folks. A good start would be getting the Chicago Fire Inspector in this building. There are reports of countless fire code violations yet someone appears to be protecting this building from inspections. We need to bombard the fire department with requests for inspection on this building at 1124 W. Wilson. Give the fire department at ring at 312-745-3705 and demand that a inspector be dispatched to inspect this hazard. You can also call 311 and request an inspection for this building but be sure to get a TRACKING NUMBER so you can check on the progress either online or by calling 311 again. Very little is going to thrive in that 2 block stretch until people feel safe to walk down the sidewalk and not have to dodge shopping carts full of beer cans and solicitors. Oh, by the way, the gentleman loitering in front of the building (marked with the red arrow below) chucked his empty Dunkin-Donuts coffee cup down on the sidewalk when he was finished. He surely takes great pride in his community. It's clear to see why the sidewalk is constantly trashed in front of this building.
Leasing agents for this space can be contacted at 312-676-1871 or 312-676-1861
Update: Check out the Chicago Tribune for a story highlighting "Heat Wave" which is playing at the Pegasus Theater now. It also features an interview with Wilson Club Hotel owner Jay Bomberg and even mentions the chicken wire ceilings. Here is an excerpt, check out the whole article and video here.
Wilson Club Hotel owner Jay Bomberg understands. He has owned the SRO across from the Pegasus, where Edward Hoffman died, for only six months. Yet he is filming his own half-hour documentary about the place, featuring interviews with his residents. Like Simoncic, he wants to raise awareness of those at the fringes.
"This documentary would establish that these men have lived here, and continue to live here," he says.
As Uptown gentrifies around it, the Wilson remains a crusty holdout: one of Chicago's last "cubicle hotels," where rooms rent for $202 a month. Chicken-wire ceilings deter the 257 men from sneaking into each other's spaces.
"Frankly, it's not a friendly environment," Bomberg says. "But if people got to know the men inside there, they'd understand it's a very friendly community."
To Bomberg, that notion of community spreads beyond the Wilson's doors. (His office is two blocks down on the 900 block of West Wilson.) Wanting insight into what his residents might've endured, he plans to attend a showing of "Heat Wave" before it closes April 6.
"I did purchase [Klinenberg's] book because I want to understand more," Bomberg says. "I zoomed right into the pages that talked about SROs and I think it's going to take another read for me. There's a lot for me to learn about the subject—and I think it deserves a full read."
He adds, noting the connection between his home movie and the stage play: "I just don't want this history lost."