Save Lincoln Square! Save Lincoln Square!

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That's what they were chanting outside Ald. Gene Schulter's 47th Ward office Wednesday night, an impromptu protest of Lincoln Square redevelopment plans.

If you're looking for details about how Lincoln Square commercial strip might change ...

DO NOT go to the 47th Ward website. There's info about the neighborhood Christmas tree sale, but nothing about redevelopment plans near Western and Lawrence.

You can get short synopsis of what's going on at the Save Lincoln Square website. Or check out the uber-local coverage on the issue by Lorraine Swanson at our sister paper, Pioneer Press.

Do you want to see buildings leveled and replaced by 6-story condo buildings with first-floor stores and indoor parking? Would that type of development kill Lincoln Square's unique neighborhood feel?

Post your thoughts here.

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18 Comments

The alderman, Schulter, is lying--the same thing happened in Bridgeport. I & my neighbors received certified mail of a pending hearing on zoning changes for a senior citizen building of 55 units without sufficient parking areas. We are already pressed for spaces in our area. Three of us shot off protest letters the very next day to the alderman and lawyer handling the case. No response, no hearing--it was already a done deal. Three letters I sent before a call from the lawyer 5 weeks later, and of course, it was too late for input. The residents need to keep shouting and be in-your-face to stop the big bucks developers and the big bucks alderman.

THANK YOU MARK FOR YOUR COVERAGE.
I am a lifetime resident of Lincoln Square, 52 years.
Alderman Schulter has been a "fibber" since he was Ed Kelly's pion.
Eminent Domain began at City Hall and Mayor Daley and the "50 Little Elves" are doing the dirty work.
Well it will not work in THE FIGHTING 47TH.
We are empowered and will not be defeated. Our homes and business represent what Lincoln Square/Ravenswood really is, a nice middle class neighborhood, NOT the "New Lincoln Park" like all the real estate/developer thieves like to say. Go peddle your lies in the suburbs.
As I said at the meeting Wednesday, Alderman Schulter and Mayor Daley work for us. We hire them with our votes and we fire them with our votes no matter how powerful they think they are. The appearance of "tenure" in politics is really a symptom of apathy and that no longer is the case in the 47TH Ward. Be warned Alderman and Mayor.

I've lived in Ravenswood/ Lincoln Square area for about 10 years. It's added a few chain restaurants like Potbelly and Cold Stone Creamery. I don't why there has to be a big condo development right next to the fountains in Lincoln Square Commons. Is Brauhaus next for the wrecking ball? Why is it that Chicago neighborhoods are either poor and underdeveloped or suddenly overdeveloped and unaffordable? Why can't there be a nice middle ground? Us neighbors are satisfied, but the developers and alderman who benefit from them never will be. Can't we just live in a decent neighborhood, or do dozens of trendy restaurants and boutiques have to follow. Does every building have to be maximized for commerce to help the tax man's bottom line, so that wasteful spending can go on for inefficient services provided by the city.

After living in Lincoln square for almost 50 years -- attended school, worked, shopped -- I moved out 7 years ago because Ald. Schulter was so "friendly" with the developers. Long gone were the neighbors who watched out for each other. Instead were the "dual-income-no-kids" who moved in to the grossly overpriced housing. Nothing against them, but they're at work and no one's around to make it a neighborhood. My nice apartment quadrupled in price when the developer took it over. Wanting to stay in the neighborhood, I looked at other apartments, but rents started increasing and it was impossible to stay in the neighborhood I loved so much. I'm in the suburbs now with no developers in sight!!

find it funny the protesting against the area becoming another
bastion of yuppie homogenization. Too late! It already is, and has
been for awhile. Look around. The same bars, restaurants, specialty
shops, bookstores,"hip"coffee houses, Starbucks, etc. you find in
Wrigleyville, Lincoln Park or DePaul are all there. Even the Euro
centric establishments all aren't as "European" as they were. Or
they've since closed. Older buildings, many still solidly standing
and possessing character replaced by the same faceless, over priced
McMansions or brick faced cinder block duplexes? Diminishing rental
options as developers gobble up and convert every multi unit building
they can, if not just tear them down driving out the elderly and long
time residents whose only options were renting? Yep! Same cars and
SUVs driven by self absorbed cell phone chatters? Uh -uh. And don't
those mommies behind that Sports Utility Buggy, latte in hand, Lab in
tow, walking along Wilson, Lincoln, Leland or any other street there
look familiar? Of course they do. Even the artsy alternative eco
friendly types don't seem all that edgy. Sorry, the Old Town School
of Folk Music doesn't make the area any more diverse or different. In
fact the joke is diversity in Lincoln Square isn't based on race,
creed, ethnicity, or even income. It's what college you attended. I
know that one because I lived there for 17 years from 1987 to 2004.
The congestion, high prices and over abundance of white bread is what
drove me out. In all fairness to Gene, what's he going to do now?
Once he changed the density law and allowed the developers and
speculators pretty much a free hand, all in the name of progress and
the prestige that comes with upward mobility, the dye was cast.

Gene will be remembered as the guy who made the "hard decision" to FORCE (remember: these people do not have FOR SALE signs on their property) faithful tax paying, law abiding citizens from their businesses and their very homes so a select few could have a fatter wallet. He might as well exploit an unconstitutional federal ruling while he still can. What are you going to do with the statue of Lincoln out on the corner Gene? Chop it up into cornerstones for another cheaply produced and overpriced condo that will end up half empty most of the time because people are getting sick of paying these incessantly ever increasing property tax hikes that end up in untouchable tif funds that fail to benefit our own neighborhoods? If this is your attempt or idea of progress for our well being, I think you are unfit to represent the constituents of the 47th ward. Honest Abe must be rolling in his grave. Don't embarrass your forefathers or insult the people of your ward Gene. Feel "free" to read the quote that lies at the base of that statue once again before December 12th and think about how closely your plan fails to adhere to it.

The idea of the City of Chicago talking someone's successful and socially valuable business and giving it to a private developer to put up more condos really offends me. It offends me more that the City of Chicago is taking someone's private property without telling us exactly what public purpose justifies such a taking. I don't want that done in my name. I don't want to live in a neighborhood like that and I don't intend to move.

There is one man who controls whether this injustice is done in our name--Eugene Schulter. Please tell him that you don't want him to do it. That's the only way to stop this. We can control what happens in our neighborhood. We must control what our elected officials do to our friends and neighbors.

Jack Lydon

oo Hoo.
It's called change people, PROGRESS.
The last time I woke up this was still America. The land of opportunity.
How about a little sympathy for Mr. Toma ? (even though he speaks broken English...nice touch ST!)
He purchased a building.
It is his private property. (what a concept !)
As long as he is not doing anything illegal he should be able to do what he wants and let the FREE MARKET determine if development is a good thing for this area.
Why should he be punished for taking a risk because some shallow people want to have big government once again step in and preserve their fantasy life.
Oh yeah, and when you live in a Free Market society you can purchase any type of vehicle, pram, dog or bread color you like. Perhaps they didn't teach you that at that college YOU attended ?
This is a city. Don't like change ? MOVE !
The bums lost Lebowski !
Kudos to Kyle. He got it.

Ihave lived in the 47th ward for twenty six years. Ilive about a block away from Lawrence and Western. Linclon Square used to a solid working class neighborhood that had all types of people living here and generally. getting along well. The neighborhood was NEVER dangerous back then, as some people, including the Alderman have said. Now Linclon Square is full of Yuppies who all seem to be waiting for an episode of "Friends" to break out. Schulter has worked for years to change the complexion (literally) of the 47th for years. The last thing this neighborhood needs is another ugly overpriced condo development. The reality is that Linclon Square is not a neighborhood anyway. The well heeled people moving in here dont even let their children go out to play for fear they may meet some one of a differen income or skin color. In short, I miss my former neighbors, and will probably move out soon myself.

Hey Ken...

Planning on moving out?
Good.
Hurry up.
There's some non-delusional "yuppies" who want to improve your flat.
These folks seem to be well read/educated, with a sense of humor, a sense of family, a sense of justice, the know how to make money, spend it and actually improve their surroundings and quality of life.
Boy, shame on me, I actually LIKE them.
YUPPIE...hmmm, cool acronym for Young Upwardly Mobile Professional.
So then, we should assume you are an Old ? Downward-Spiraling, disgruntled, unhappy, what? ... slacker ?
Anyway, while you are packing up your Che Guevarra t-shirt and old copies of the Reader,
here is a short list of some diverse neighborhoods for you to consider.
You can easily let your kids go out and play in them (don't forget the Kevlar vests though) :
Englewood
West Garfield Park
Douglas Park
....burbs?
there's always
Maywood
Harvey
Melrose Park

Wake up goofball.


Best regards,
- Joe O
- high school diploma'd, Working Class PROFESSIONAL who is striving for a better life for his kids

Instead of insulting our neighbors for the cars they drive or number of kids they may not have, wouldn't it be more productive to dirrect our frustrations towards the politicians? There are plenty of other issues in Lincoln Square that Schulter should be concentrating on, but he's too busy turning us against eachother to notice. Every few weeks I find a new pile of glass next to a broken car window on Leavett, but rarely do I see police in the neighborhood in the dark hours of the night. And they are dark, because the street lights at Giddings and Leavett were out for a few months. I happen to come home from work at about 2am every night, and I end up parking blocks away because all of my emails requesting permit parking on Giddings have been ignored. But Schulter is busy ruining the charm of the square by allowing condos next to the fountain and threatening to destroy the shops on Western. How much will we let him tear down before we stand up and fight?

Last one.
Promise. (I live in Lincoln Park anyway...and yes, I struggle).
To Daniel Buban....read a history book will ya?
Abe Lincoln statue?
The statue of the same revered president who suspended habeas corpus and tossed his Supreme Court Chief Justice (J.B. Taney) in the klink because Taney dared to uphold our Constitution.....pul-leeeze. Talk about shades of Bush/Cheney & Gitmo.
Sorry, I digress....
Look, Lincoln Sguare's charm, shmarm.
Making my living in the construction biz as I do (bricklayer by trade, thank you) the reason you don't see buildings going up with the appearance, style and edifices you so love is that most of those were built on the backs of poor immigrants (read that 'slave') labor.
The materials too..... cornices, filigrees, flooring, windows, etc. Man, it all costs real money and now it costs real BIG money. Unless, of course you're willing to exploit some other poor, desperate sucker somewhere else.
Guess what ? Now guys like me can actually make a living wage if we work hard.
But, ya know what? Construction is more efficient energy-wise and a hell of a lot safer. So if your new construction doesn't look like the Rookery, the Wrigley or the Tribune Building now you know why.
No one seems to care that the new Spertus building on Michigan Ave is way, WAY out of character for THAT neighborhood. How come ? Because to build something on that scale they absolutley needed a variance.
In the meantime, poor Mr. Tomas has to pay a monthly mortgage with no return in sight because you guys just don't get it.
Shame on all of you.
Lastly this is for Susan.
I drive a Honda but for my wife and kids...a Lincoln Navigator.
A loved one was killed in her VW Rabbit after being hit by a truck after when swerving to avoid hitting an indigent, squeegee man on north Western Ave.
So (as Susan says),do not insult or label me for my choice in cars.
Good luck all you Lincoln Square folks.
But I fear you are clinging to a lost cause.
Again...it is called PROGRESS.
I'm sure Fred Flintsone was extemely upset when Bedrock's caves started to be replaced by free-standing, above ground domiciles.

Schulter is'nt turning neighbors against each other, he only cares about his neighbors that can afford a 500,000 dollar condo. It is the clowns like Joe O. who would support people like Schulter, Daley, etc. who would force long time, hardworking families out of the city for the financial benefit of their developer buddies. You don't like the diversity of the city Joe? Then leave! I'm sure Mt Prospect has a vacancy.

Things that make you go hmmmm.
It appears Ken assumes that a person who can afford a $500K condo doesn't work hard.
Hey, sign me up for that gig !
Also, when an entrepenuer seeks out and tries to develop business opportunies and they then come to fruition, is the entrepenuer to blame?
If a seller attaches a big price tag on something does that automatically mean it will sell ?
And if someone is willing to pay his asking price, is the seller the bad guy ?
Don't like your elected official ?
Organize an opposing candidate who reprsents YOUR group's interests and vote for that person. If I am not mistaken that's how it works in our society.
Can someone explain to me in this blog which part of the government (and with whose money) is responsible for promoting, enhancing or instituting diversity ? And where in my posting did I infer I don't like diversity ? I can't really tell what it means?
Ken...you come across as a frustrated, whiney guy.
Maybe you need a new (or second) job.
Better yet...lighten up dude.

I learn something new everyday. Thank you for informing me of the Lincoln issue. I was previously unaware of that.

Last one.
Promise.

The protest is against the abuse of Eminent Domain.

Taking a building from a small business owner and selling it to a private developer is wrong.

See ya at 9am Wed Dec 12th outside the city council.

Hey Joe O. your style tells me that when you get railroaded out of this neighborhood, a place like Bridgeport would be a good fit. Don't forget to pack your white robe and hood. Peace boy!

Hey Ken.
You are off topic.
I thought we were discussing politics and economics in Lincoln Square?
As a mixed couple, my wife, who is Jamaican, found your observation interesting.
After reading your posts to this blog, it appears you are the least tolerant person here.
Perhaps you need to give a long hard look to your own beliefs and biases about people and the process.
As I stated earlier, organize and vote. It's a beautiful thing.

Re: the white robe and hood comment. Were you referring to its use in the KKK or its use in Catholic religious ceremonies ? The Bridgeport thing threw me off.

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Mark Konkol

Mark Konkol covers city neighborhoods for the Chicago Sun-Times. You can e-mail him or call (312) 321-2146.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Konkol published on December 7, 2007 4:04 AM.

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