Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wilson & Sheridan, 1963

Here is another great photo from 1963 looking west on Wilson towards Sheridan. The building on the corner was demolished for McDonald's, the other buildings stretching west from there were simply demolished. Read more via Uptown Chicago History.


  1. Was that right when the "Jesus Saves" sign was being placed on the church? Looks like it's in the process...

  2. Well thats one way to destroy a neigborhood.
    Just so happened that the building owners just wanted to make a fast buck and they left quite a legacy behind them.

    So easy to destroy.
    What are the chances that that mcdonalds will ever be razed and something nice will go back there?

  3. I love it when UU puts these pictures up. Oh for the good old days:)

  4. Thanks UU for the powerful reminder on the importance of zoning and what happens when no one's watching the chimpanzees and how they can destroy a neighborhood.

    I'm really interested in how the aldermanic candidates plan to address good urban planning, poor zoning and a really effective community planning process.

  5. Why the assumption that the Uptown in the picture is better than Uptown now? That drug store would either be vacant, or a minimart now. The bowling alley would either be abandoned or create parking problems. The "hotel" halfway up the block was certainly no good for the neighborhood.

    Do you guys really think losing a bowling alley and an SRO "destroyed" Uptown?

  6. I love the old pics to Towanda,since I was born and lived in Uptown for so long.Anyone have any pics out there of Kenmore in past years? Sure was safer back then in area.

  7. Uh David,
    those buildings if they had stayed in the right hands,
    could have had surviving local institutions, like maybe the bowling alley or a decent bar....
    Sure it would have been seedy still but I doubt the immediate area wouldve have sunk so low

    Look at City Sports, an amazingly hideous building that is just plain depressing.
    If you have nice buildings, likely there would be better independent businesses and local community that wouldve stayed around.

    If you gut and or cut the heart out of a business district like what happened to wilson, what did you expect to happen?

    Maybe the street wouldve been a punk hangout like Belmont was.
    Maybe alot of stuff. But a rundown crappy mcdonalds and other low level ugly retail has little to no potential.

    What should be done is that that whole stretch of wilson should be taken by eminent domain and redone to more resemble a decent retail city street.

  8. Another way to look at this,
    is look at Howard street in Rogers Park, enough of it has survived so that it still has potential to be a decent place. And it will be.
    There is nice cabinet shop, oh and a surviving institution like lost eras antique shop still exists.
    It has good bones.

    That stretch of Wilson still has so much potential, but its just been so beaten down and raped that it will take longer. It still has some decent buildings, BUT they are HUGE and need ALOT of investment, just like that area of Sheridan.

    The old theatre building survived,
    the old wbbm building survived.

    Sure its a bit deserted with a couple teardowns, but there are plans for a new wisdom bridge theatre building. There isnt a crappy mcdonalds there.

    Sure its still a troubled area, but nothing like Wilson.

  9. Some nice foreshadowing with the building on the northwest corner having the word drugs on it.