Thursday, July 30, 2009

Still Waiting, After All These Years

We can’t tell exactly how the AIDS Foundation “served Chicago in connection with the recent concerts” at Wrigley Field starring Elton John, Billy Joel, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker and Vince Gill, but we do know that, once again, there was an expansion of the use of Uptown’s Challenger Park, Irving Park Road, and Clark Street for Lakeview’s parking needs.

At Mondays game, Cubs Charities VP Mike Lufrano and Alderman Shiller ceremoniously presented the AIDS Foundation with a $50,000 thank-you check for use of the community. Given that Uptown block clubs are still waiting ----nearly twenty years later ----for the CUBS organization and Alderman Helen Shiller to fulfill the Challenger Park parking agreement terms that govern the CUB’s private use of our public Challenger Park for Wrigley Field events, we can’t help but ask, “Where’s ours?”

Notice the that the Park District Sign (above) describes basketball courts, an ice skating rink, soccer fields, grass recreational fields, and natural landscapes that don’t exist. Neither do the EL track safety shields and ongoing CUBS maintenance of the park, which the contract requires.

Update: To see the promised "ice skating, basketball courts and soccer field," click here and here.


  1. Dear UU...thank you for reminding us about the empty promises made to residents. Broken promises, each one that adds up to the decline of our neighborhood.

    Uptown is suffering for the loss of safe, welcoming public spaces.

    When I first moved to Uptown, there was a wonderful open grassy place north of the Truman tennis courts. Families used it on summer Sunday afternoons to play volley ball and picnic with their children, many of the homeless kids from Cornerstone played ball there. It's gone now, home of the parking garage.

    Challenger park is another empty promise. Clarendon Park, suffers from the huge loss of money that now being siphoned into the Wilson Yard TIF.

    When a community doesn't have public spaces and parks, everyone suffers.

  2. Nicely written Katharine. I see clarendon park out my window and as the years pass it too is starting to fade away. Its turning into a camp ground for the homeless and a bathroom for for dogs. Its a real shame!!

  3. The soccer fields, the basketball courts and the skating rinks must be near the movie theatres and mixed-income housing at Wilson Yard.

  4. I cannot imagine, what will go down in 'Challenger Park' when WY is done.

  5. Here's a thought. Could the Westboro Baptist Church park their Winnebago with a 'God hates the 46th ward' campaign in Challenger Park?
    THAT might get some media attention.