Monday, November 28, 2011

Three Storefronts Rendered "Off Limits"

Three empty storefronts on the 4400 block of Clark are wiped out:  the former Pete's Upholstery, the former fruiteria, and the former Little Quiapo Restaurant.  Looks like a fire in the apartments above them; anyone got any details?  We hope no one was hurt or displaced.

If Jackie Taylor is serious about wanting to improve that block (and we have no reason to think she won't succeed), looks like this may be a good place to start.


  1. Whoa. I live in the building next door!

    I can't wait to see these things torn down and replaced with something functional. I feel like this is the beginning of a new age on this block with the Black Ensemble Theater opening. I hope to see this entire block at full power.

  2. These buildings have been "off limits" for a couple of years now, but it does not stop people from entering them. The back lot has turned into an electronics graveyard, with shelled out TVs collecting in the corner. The scavengers actually serve a purpose by clearing out the lot on occasion. The owners put up some fence barricades, but they were too easily moved to the side. I suppose it is time to contact the alderman and city (again) and report the building. The owners need to tear them down or put up proper boarding and permanent fencing.

  3. Friday evening, I walked past this storefront and the windows were broken and there was broken glass covering the sidewalk. There were not yet any signs or notices; just some scraps of caution tape. It looked like someone had recently broken into the building.

  4. Twice I've called the police on these buildings. A week ago Sunday the whole front window of one of the buildings was busted open with glass litering the sidewalk. I talked to the police when they arrived and they were planning on pursuing the owner as it was very dangerous (one cop said "I'm not climbing in that window...that F---ing sheet glass will slice right through you).

  5. Except for these buildings there has been a lot of good news on this stretch of Clark St.

    the new Black Ensemble theater and the streetscape improvements, just look at that nice streetlamp in the photo...

    The buildings are definitely not a lost cause. While not too fancy or historic, the white one has some nice brickwork, better then most new structures with that awful "face-brick".

    The owner better get of his/her can and secure the property, its not that difficult. Or.....the city will start writing up the citations. Plywood is cheaper.

    Just for the record this is in the eastern frontier of the 47th Ward, under freshman Ald. Pewar.

  6. Sent the following email to Jim at Pawar's office:

    Hi there-
    I live across the alley from 4415-23 N Clark and was wondering what is going on in the 4415-23 building? Seems that this weekend the windows were broken out and there is some make-shift tape around the site. I am very worried vagrants will move in without it being boarded up. Do you know what will become of that buidling?

    This is what I got back:

    I’ve been ringing many phones with this over the past week or so. Department of Buildings should be out to inspect soon and get this building back into process to have the owner/agent repair or demolish the structure. Officer Tanaka from the 23rd District Chicago Police went by today and did some boarding up and looked for evidence of fires and squatters, but found nothing. They are aware of the issue and will continue to monitor the property as best they can. If you see suspicious activity there please call 911, even if police cannot respond it creates a record that is useful as we work to have this addressed.

    If you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to contact me.

    Take Care,


    Jim Poole

    Community Specialist & Legislative Liaison

  7. I missed this post but do recall the fire. The fire department put it out very fast. The white building looks like one that, under better circumstances, would be deemed historically significant based on its architecture. But, maybe not.