|1916 postcard of Clarendon Park, courtesy of Preservation Illinois|
From Ald. Cappleman's recent newsletter:
"I am excited to share the news that the Clarendon Park Community Center will be renovated.
During an extensive process led by the Chicago Park District, the community overwhelmingly supported a limited renovation of the building.
The other options presented included a full remodel, which would have included restoring architectural details like decorative towers; a new building on the existing site; and a new building on a new site.
The limited renovation will bring the building into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, add an elevator, create a new lobby and address ongoing issues such as water leakage. One more community meeting will be held at a time to be announced to show more detailed project plans.
The Park District projected that the limited remodel will cost $22 million. 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 at this site. The Park District will fundraise the remainder of the cost.
I will advocate that the renovation be completed in phases for as little impact as possible on park programming, as the community has requested.
I sincerely appreciate the community's participation in and passion about this process. Special thanks go to the Clarendon Park Advisory Council, which has shepherded this project along the way. I look forward to a renovated community center that will serve 46th Ward residents for decades to come."
* UU Note: Uptown Update appreciates the foresight of former alderman Helen Shiller. In the 2010 TIF documents, she and then-favored developer Sedgwick Properties included language that the TIF would "support the redevelopment of blighted buildings and improvements to Clarendon Park," among other aspirations.