My camera and I visited Bronzeville's historic, but vacant, Forum Hall over the weekend.
The 113-year-old structure, which once played a role in labor history, civil rights, jazz and even the advancement of U.S. Communism, came close to being demolished by the city last year when inspectors found extensive structural damage and loose, falling bricks.
Now a new owner, Bronzeville developer Bernard Loyd, is trying to figure out what to do with the Forum. Located on the corner of 43rd and Calumet just east of the CTA's Green Line, reuse of the building and vacant adjoining storefronts could provide a spark to revitalized the bedraggled strip. But that will take time and money.
Lots of money.
For now, Loyd has repaired the loose bricks, has organized volunteer clean-ups of the building and is seeking input from the neighborhood and IIT architecture students.
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