A derelict hotel on Chicago’s Near West Side will soon receive a major makeover. The Union Park Hotel first opened in the 1930s as a combination hotel-apartment building. Eventually, it was turned into the Viceroy Hotel, a single-room-occupancy, or SRO, hotel. The Viceroy was a haven for those seeking a cheap bed but it closed in the early 2000s and fell into disrepair. Now, thanks to a partnership between the city, a non-profit and a local church, the former SRO will be transformed into to supported, affordable housing. Reporter Micah Maidenberg followed the story for WBEZ and joined Eight Forty-Eight to discuss the emergence of the Viceroy from the ashes. Also, historian and WBEZ blogger John R. Schmidt joined the conversation to share more about the history of SROs in Chicago.
Music Button: The Benny Carter Centennial Project, "Johnny", from the CD The Benny Carter Centennial Project, (Evening Star)