WBEZ | South Shore http://www.wbez.org/tags/south-shore Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Why does South Shore still not have a grocery store? http://www.wbez.org/news/why-does-south-shore-still-not-have-grocery-store-110699 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/South Shore grocery thumb.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The hallmarks of urban retail saturate East 71st Street: beauty supply, dollar, cell phone and gym shoe stores.</p><p>But most noticeable is the 65,000 sq. ft. vacant space in a strip mall at 71st and Jeffrey Boulevard. On the outside, it looks like someone rubbed the beige building with an eraser &ndash; the faded Dominick&rsquo;s lettering the only hint this used to be a bustling grocery store.</p><p>Last December, the grocery chain Dominick&rsquo;s closed all of its doors, including 13 in Chicago. All of the vacant stores found a new grocer to fill the space &ndash; except the one at 71st and Jeffrey Boulevard in the predominantly black South Shore neighborhood. Now residents there wonder why they&rsquo;re being left out.</p><p>More than eight months after it closed, South Shore residents say all they want is a proper supermarket to take its place. Not another discount or liquor store that sells food on the side.</p><p>&ldquo;Food is the common denominator. How we break bread, how we sustain ourselves so it&rsquo;s a great metaphor. Everyone has to eat,&rdquo; said resident Anton Seals.</p><p>Seals said residents should be able to do that in their own neighborhood.</p><p>&ldquo;Part of the angst that people feel is that we are tired of leaving our community; thus leaking the dollars, not helping where we are.&rdquo;</p><p>Val Free, president of The Planning Coalition, a local community group, agrees.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;Dominick&rsquo;s closing brought the community together. And that&rsquo;s a win-win. And we&rsquo;re going to get the grocery we want. The kind of grocery store we want,&rdquo; Free said.</p><p>South Shore organizers are taking steps to make sure that happens. They&rsquo;ve hosted several community meetings, circulated a survey and met with city officials.&nbsp; In some ways their fight for a grocery store is part of a larger struggle playing out across the city. The intersection of race and retail often leaves African-American consumers short on access to goods and services. Even basic ones like where to shop for dinner.</p><p>This is especially true on the South Side where many neighborhoods, regardless of income, are food deserts. Juxtapose this with some areas on the North Side awash in grocery stores. Recently, residents of Wicker Park <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20140710/wicker-park/wicker-park-trader-joes-plan-dead-after-grocer-pulls-out" target="_blank">rejected a new Trader Joe&rsquo;s due to traffic concerns</a>.</p><p>Over the past decade, more grocery stores have opened in Chicago overall. But many on the South and West Sides feel left out when their only nearby food options are discount chains.</p><p>&ldquo;On the South Side of Chicago in general, we experience retail redlining. There&rsquo;s a certain kind of marketing. When we talk about institutional racism, it&rsquo;s the dismissal of communities that have income and that expendable income,&rdquo; Seals said.</p><p>South Shore is a dense, truly mixed-income neighborhood. Mansions and multi-unit apartment complexes share alleys. The community has a median income of $28,000 but there are thousands of households earning more than $75,000.</p><p>Seals said the kind of grocery store matters too.</p><p>&ldquo;We definitely didn&rsquo;t want what&rsquo;s considered low-end grocer like a Save A Lot or Food for Less in South Shore because we also wanted the new store to be a kind of catalyst for the economic resurgence we need.&rdquo;</p><p>Mari Gallagher is a researcher and expert on food access issues and said South Shore has really been a misunderstood market for a long time.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a lot of buying power in South Shore. And I know from the research and I know&nbsp; anecdotally people who live in South Shore who go all the way down to Roosevelt Road or Hyde Park to do their shopping. There&rsquo;s a lot of leakage, money leaving these neighborhoods,&rdquo; Gallagher said.</p><p>She said black Chicago has long struggled to nab quality retail. Billions of dollars leave the community each year and are spent in other neighborhoods.</p><p>&ldquo;And it&rsquo;s not necessarily because they can&rsquo;t support it as a consumer base and certainly people do eat as part of the human condition,&rdquo; Gallagher said.</p><p><a href="http://www.targetmarketnews.com/" target="_blank">Target Market News</a> is a consumer research group that tracks black spending and found that black households traditionally outspend whites and Latinos on fruits and vegetables and items that have to be cooked to be eaten. In the Chicago area they spend approximately $240 million on fresh produce annually.</p><p>&ldquo;So why do certain neighborhoods have quality grocery stores and other neighborhoods have none or just very very few, perhaps one?&rdquo; Gallagher said, adding that changes in the grocery industry perpetuate this gap.</p><p>&ldquo;That was the case when Jewel and Save A Lot were corporate siblings and the parent company decided well, we really can&rsquo;t have a Jewel in every neighborhood. So instead we&rsquo;ve put Save A Lots in those neighborhoods. There were those kind of changes and people misunderstand the African-American market.&rdquo;</p><p>Some retailers are beginning to get the message.</p><p>Mariano&rsquo;s is set to open in Bronzeville, a neighborhood long starved for better grocery options. The fast-growing chain also announced plans to open at 87th and South Shore Drive. The site is across from a lucrative development in the works on the former steel mills site. Meanwhile, Whole Foods is experimenting nationally by building in low-income areas. This summer they broke ground for a store in Englewood.</p><p>Meanwhile, back in South Shore they&rsquo;re still waiting.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think you can take race out of the equation. Not just for the grocery business but just for commercial real estate in general,&rdquo; said Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th.)</p><p>Hairston said she&rsquo;s in conversation with other stores and is open to a grocer bypassing 71st Street for another South Shore location.</p><p>But she&rsquo;s also not giving up on the former Dominick&rsquo;s space. Although it&rsquo;s empty, the lease runs until 2015. The owner of the property is Shirven Mateen. He lives in Los Angeles and declined to be interviewed.</p><p>Hairston is in communication with him. She said she even flew to L.A. to meet with him &ndash; but it didn&rsquo;t happen.</p><p>&ldquo;From what I&rsquo;m understanding what they are looking for in the price per square foot exceeds, is about 40 percent higher than what the market will bear so that in fact is an impediment,&rdquo; Hairston.</p><p>So the alderman is trying to reach the absentee landlord through moral appeals.</p><p>&ldquo;We can&rsquo;t control the economy. What has happened has happened, but you are located in a community that needs to have a grocery store. You&rsquo;re the vessel for that and we basically need you to do the right thing. We understand the business component of it but I need you to understand the human component of it,&rdquo; Hairston said.</p><p>Just last week, Hairston finally got what she&rsquo;d been asking for. She gave Bob Mariano, CEO of the grocery chain, a tour of her ward to view potential sites. No word yet if anything will be built, but one thing&rsquo;s for sure, the CEO didn&rsquo;t like the 71st Street location.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/nmoore-0" rel="author">Natalie Moore</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s South Side Bureau reporter. <a href="mailto:nmoore@wbez.org">nmoore@wbez.org</a> Follow Natalie on <a href="https://plus.google.com//104033432051539426343" rel="me">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Twitter</a></em>.</p><iframe width="100%" height="450" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/48706770&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true"></iframe></p> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/why-does-south-shore-still-not-have-grocery-store-110699 South Shore residents see grocer closing as opportunity http://www.wbez.org/sections/food/south-shore-residents-see-grocer-closing-opportunity-109455 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/11611730824_2db0b0894e.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-1e3d442b-53cc-b9cb-e968-a70859362ea1">Residents in Chicago&rsquo;s South Shore know how outsiders may perceive their neighborhood: crime-ridden with an abundance of subsidized rental housing.</p><p dir="ltr">But there&rsquo;s another picture residents want to flaunt: vistas of Lake Michigan, splendid architecture and the South Shore Cultural Center gem.</p><p dir="ltr">The rebranding - led by the newly revamped <a href="http://theplanningcoalition.org/strategy/">Planning Coalition</a> - isn&rsquo;t a matter of vain boosterism. South Shore denizens want better retail options. Some have what&rsquo;s dubbed &ldquo;Hyde Park envy&rdquo; because they have to shop in the neighborhood just to the north. The recent closure of the South Shore Dominick&rsquo;s on 71st and Jeffrey has provided an opening for changes, residents say.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;You have people that look at Dominick&rsquo;s leaving as a new beginning. That&rsquo;s how I see it - to bring something different over here, to be an anchor for better retailers than we have now,&rdquo; said resident and organizer Val Free.</p><p dir="ltr">The grassroots Planning Coalition has a grocery store task force. The group has hosted two community meetings and is distributing a survey asking residents what kind of store they want. In an area littered with corner, discount and dollar stores, shoppers prefer an upscale grocer that will uplift the image of South Shore such as a Whole Foods, Trader Joe&rsquo;s or Mariano&rsquo;s.</p><p dir="ltr">Resident Ava St. Claire said there&rsquo;s a correlation between image and beautification when it comes to retail.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Corner dudes don&rsquo;t hang out in front of Starbucks but they just chill in front of places that look comfortable for them to just chill at,&rdquo; St. Claire said. A more attractive store would deter bootleggers from selling DVDs or loose cigarettes out front, she said.</p><p dir="ltr">Ald. Leslie Hairston&rsquo;s (5th) ward include 71st and Jeffrey. Hairston sits on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s citywide task force charged with marketing and transitioning closed Dominick&rsquo;s stores in the city. She said she&rsquo;s committed to making sure a vibrant store replaces Dominick&rsquo;s. But Safeway - Dominick&rsquo;s parent company - has the lease until May 2015 and is negotiating with whatever new tenant comes in.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I can&rsquo;t stop them from selling to the highest bidder. That&rsquo;s for sure. But I have expressed my desires. I have talked to them,&rdquo; Hairston said. &ldquo;I am confident that we will have a grocer and have something that the community will be happy with.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">One of the challenges is attracting quality retail to black South Side neighborhoods. But every year, South Siders <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/south-siders-spend-billions-each-year-outside-their-neighborhoods">spend billions outside of their neighborhoods</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s akin to redlining to me. With the African-American neighborhoods because they are spending money on the same things that other ethnicities spend &nbsp;money on yet it is the corporations that are resistant,&rdquo; Hairston said. The alderman didn&rsquo;t reveal which stores she&rsquo;s in contact with.</p><p dir="ltr">Researcher and food access expert Mari Gallagher said data and perceptions are barriers to development on the South Side.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The numbers can be misleading. There&rsquo;s more density than people might realize and a good number of middle income families,&rdquo; Gallagher said. She said the 71st Street Dominick&rsquo;s closure could create a problem for South Shore, which is already attracting fringe retail.</p><p dir="ltr">South Shore is truly a mixed-income neighborhood. There are mansions and multi-unit apartment complexes. The community has a median income of $28,000 but there are thousands of households that make more than $50,000 and thousands more that earn more than $75,000.</p><p dir="ltr">Gallagher said the mayor&rsquo;s task force will really have to work the market angle.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;What I hope doesn&rsquo;t happen is that a less attractive retail option doesn&rsquo;t come in because they are ready to occupy now. Time is of the essence,&rdquo; Gallagher said.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/nmoore-0" rel="author">Natalie Moore</a> is a WBEZ reporter. <a href="mailto:nmoore@wbez.org">nmoore@wbez.org</a></em></p><p><em>Follow Natalie on <a href="https://plus.google.com//104033432051539426343" rel="me">Google+</a>, &nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Twitter</a></em></p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-1e3d442b-53cf-7ad6-5bba-2479e588b711">Members of Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s grocery store task force, which is &nbsp;to help market and transition closed Dominick&rsquo;s stores in the city:</p><p dir="ltr">&bull; Steven Koch, Deputy Mayor, city of Chicago.</p><p dir="ltr">&bull; Andrew Mooney, Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development, city of Chicago.</p><p dir="ltr">&bull; Ald. Leslie Hairston, 5th Ward.</p><p dir="ltr">&bull; Ald. Joe Moore, 49th Ward.</p><p dir="ltr">&bull; Ald. Patrick O&rsquo;Connor, 40th Ward.</p><p dir="ltr">&bull; Rev. Dr. Janette C. Wilson is an attorney and community advocate focusing on education and neighborhood economic development. Rev. Wilson is Assistant Pastor of Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church and serves as the Executive Director of Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.</p><p dir="ltr">&bull; Jorge Ramirez, President, Chicago Federation of Labor. Prior to becoming president of the CFL, Ramirez was Executive Director of UFCW 1546, which represents the workers at Dominick&rsquo;s grocery stores in Chicago.</p><p dir="ltr">&bull; Steve Powell, Secretary Treasurer, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 881. &nbsp;Powell is also an International Vice President of the UFCW. UFCW represents thousands of grocery store employees across the Chicago area.</p><p dir="ltr">&bull; Mike Mallon, Principal, dkmallon, a food industry consulting firm. Mallon is a former VP at both Jewel/Osco and Dominick&rsquo;s.</p><p dir="ltr">&bull; Joel Bookman, Principal, Bookman Associations, a community development consulting firm. Bookman is a former director at LISC/Chicago and Executive Director of North River Commission, with specific expertise in neighborhood retail development.</p><p dir="ltr">&bull; Craig Chico, Executive Director of Back of the Yards Council. Among other endeavors, the Back of the Yards council works with merchants and industrial companies in the Stockyards area.</p><p dir="ltr">&bull; Carlos Nelson, Executive Director of Auburn Gresham Community Development Corporation. Nelson has been very instrumental in the redevelopment of the commercial area along 79th Street, and has also been involved in the development of the new Wal-Mart that will begin construction in the neighborhood in the spring.</p><p dir="ltr">&bull; Frank Petruziello, Principal, the Skilken Company. Petruziello is the major force behind the development of the Shops &amp; Lofts project at 47th and Cottage Grove, a mixed-use development that includes a neighborhood Wal-Mart store.</p><p>&bull; Angel Gutierrez, Vice President of Community Development and Outreach Services, Catholic Charities Chicago. Catholic Charities Chicago currently operates 16 WIC Food and Nutrition Centers in the city and is introducing other innovative ways to bring fresh produce products to underserved areas.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 02 Jan 2014 10:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/sections/food/south-shore-residents-see-grocer-closing-opportunity-109455 Once-doomed South Shore bank could receive National Register status http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-10/once-doomed-south-shore-bank-could-receive-national-register-status-108841 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/40656277_6e545fb156_o.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 425px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">A South Shore bank once slated for demolition is now possibly in line to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The former Stony Island Trust &amp; Savings Bank is among three buildings the city landmarks commission last week recommended for National Register of Historic Places consideration. The recommendation will be sent to the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council which will decide this month whether the bank meets National Register criteria. The U.S. Park Service&#39;s Keeper of the National Register has final approval. The landmarks commission approved its recommendation at a regular meeting last Thursday.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The recommendation is one of two good turns as of late for the vacant 90-year-old neo-classical building, 6760 S. Stony Island Ave. Last year, the acclaimed artist <a href="http://theastergates.com/home.html">Theaster Gates</a> obtained the bank from the city. Gates wants to rehab the building into a home for small, arts-based not-for-profits. He also wants the facility to house 18,000-book library donated by Linda Johnson Rice, daughter of <em>Ebony</em> magazine founder John H. Johnson. Vacant since the early 1980s, the building was later acquired by the city and had been under threat of demolition in recent years.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><p>Built in 1923, the bank was designed by William Gibbons Uffendell, whose work includes the magnificent flat-iron shaped former <a href="http://webapps.cityofchicago.org/landmarksweb/web/landmarkdetails.htm?lanId=13044">Marshfield Trust &amp; Savings,</a> 3325 N. Lincoln. The granite and terra cotta South Side building is among the best-looking structures on Stony Island, even in its faded condition. The front, with its fluted Doric columns and pediment, resembles a temple&mdash;as was often the case in pre-Depression era bank architecture.</p><div class="image-insert-image ">This postcard from John Chuckman&#39;s staggering&mdash;and invaluable&mdash;<a href="http://chuckmanchicagonostalgia.wordpress.com/">online collection </a>of postcards and photos better shows the south elevation and the entire building during its heyday:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/postcard-chicago-stony-island-stste-bank-68th-and-stony-island-1920.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 253px;" title="" /></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">The bank was prosperous for its first years, then the Great Depression struck. The bank closed in 1931 and reopened in 1946 as Southmoor State Bank. Southmoor folded in 1960 and the building would spend the next 20 years as Guaranty Bank &amp; Trust. The Nation of Islam bought Guaranty in 1973 and kept the bank until about 1980. It&#39;s been vacant since.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">If approved, the National Register listing would honor the building as an intact example of neo-classical design in early 20th century banking architecture&mdash;and for being one of the few remaining examples of architecture that reflected Stony Island&#39;s early days as a commercial center. The north end of Stony Island near the bank was a bustling thoroughfare with hotels, theater and more before disinvestment and middle-class flight took most of it away beginning in the 1960s.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The National Register listing could bring federal tax credits that can be used&mdash;or sold&mdash;to offset the renovation costs of the building. The structure is not official and protected Chicago landmark. The National Register listing doesn&#39;t protect the building from demolition.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">In addition to Stony Island Bank, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks also recommended the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council seek National Register status for the Bush Temple of Music, located at Clark &amp; Chicago; and the former Pugh Terminal Warehouse&mdash;best known as North Pier&mdash;401 E. Illinois.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council meets Oct 25.</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 07 Oct 2013 05:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-10/once-doomed-south-shore-bank-could-receive-national-register-status-108841 Neighborhood divisions laid bare, in the span of a block http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/neighborhood-divisions-laid-bare-span-block-106299 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FOR%20WEB%20diptych%201.jpg" style="height: 210px; width: 620px;" title="These two South Shore homes exist within the span of one block. (WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" /></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F85223529&amp;color=00a8ff&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>For urban dwellers and fans of cliché Hollywood flicks alike, you&rsquo;ve probably encountered the &ldquo;wrong side of the tracks&rdquo; motif.</p><p>It goes like this: A neighborhood changes for the worse on the &ldquo;other side&rdquo; of the tracks or one must be careful of the people who live on the &ldquo;wrong&rdquo; side. The warning isn&rsquo;t always about railroad tracks, of course. Instead, it&rsquo;s a veiled admonition about which streets to cross or avoid in a particular neighborhood.</p><p>This was the case for Marya Lucas, who asked Curious City this:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>Why do neighborhoods sometimes change from really good to really bad in the span of a block?</em><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FOR WEB marya portrait 2.jpg" style="height: 147px; width: 220px; float: right;" title="Curious citizen Marya Lucas on location for our story in South Shore. (WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" /></p><p>The question, she says, was partly inspired by her move to Chicago&rsquo;s Old Town neighborhood not long ago. There, she couldn&rsquo;t help but notice how different life was on either side of North Avenue, around Sedgwick Street.</p><p>It&rsquo;s not a simple question, nor is there an easy answer. There&rsquo;s ample <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Black-Block-Politics-Race-Class/dp/0226649326/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1364246135&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=mary+pattillo" target="_blank">scholarly </a><a href="http://www.amazon.com/American-Apartheid-Segregation-Making-Underclass/dp/0674018214/ref=pd_sim_b_8">work </a>about <a href="http://www.amazon.com/There-Goes-Neighborhood-Tensions-Neighborhoods/dp/0679724184/ref=pd_sim_b_1" target="_blank">neighborhood space</a> in Chicago and how it&rsquo;s polarized. The bottom line is that any full, honest answer must grapple with some unseemly history: racist real estate policies, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Family-Properties-Struggle-Transformed-Chicago/dp/0805091424/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top" target="_blank">the creation of ghettos</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Boss-Richard-J-Daley-Chicago/dp/0452261678/ref=pd_sim_b_2" target="_blank">local political power</a>.</p><p>I&rsquo;m <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/race-out-loud" target="_blank">never one to shy away from race</a>, but in taking up this Curious City question I didn&rsquo;t want the issue to dominate an explanation of why there are &ldquo;good&rdquo; versus &ldquo;bad&rdquo; blocks. My editor and I thought seasoned experts (e.g. people who wrote the aforementioned hyperlinked books and academics such as Northwestern University&rsquo;s Albert Hunter) should take on that heavy lifting, but we could offer some on-the-ground observations and other perspectives to round out Marya&rsquo;s question.</p><p dir="ltr">First, a practical question: Where could Marya and I head to see and hear about block-by-block neighborhood change? We could&rsquo;ve harkened back to Studs Terkel&rsquo;s book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Division-Street-America-Studs-Terkel/dp/1595580727/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1364246270&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=studs+division+street" target="_blank">&ldquo;Division Street&rdquo;</a> for modern-day inspiration, focused on areas around <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/cabrini-green-life-and-after-high-rises-99819" target="_blank">public housing</a>, visited Canaryville, compared Hyde Park (home to the University of Chicago) to Woodlawn (too easy) or pulled the microphone out in <a href="http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/1293.html" target="_blank">Uptown</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">Neighborhood disinvestment is hard enough to explain without the white side being the so-called more desirable one and people of color living on the &ldquo;other&rdquo; side. Hence, Marya and I headed to a majority black South Side neighborhood, where the gulfs between people and space are surprising and visible.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Social division along the lake</strong></p><p dir="ltr">On South Coles Avenue, between 75th and 71st Streets, boarded-up apartment buildings and houses stand out as eyesores. Residents complain about loitering at one of the corner stores. At one point residents say the Chicago Police Department designated one of the corners a hot spot for drug and gang activity.</p><p dir="ltr">But just one block over, on South Shore Drive, high rises face Lake Michigan. On the dead-end side streets, oversized bungalows with well-kept lawns have direct access to the beach. One sleek modern home looks like it got lost on its way to South Beach.</p><p dir="ltr">Several blocks away in the same neighborhood, homes in the Jackson Park Highlands are stately and splendid. The homes&rsquo; diversity in architecture reinforces the pleasing aesthetic.</p><p dir="ltr">Car access is blocked on either side of the Highlands by uninviting pedestrian malls. There, multi-unit apartment buildings &mdash; many boarded-up &mdash; are crammed together in high density.</p><p dir="ltr">Welcome to South Shore.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Hover over the map below to view more images of the neighborhood.&nbsp;</em></p><p><img class="alwaysThinglink" src="//cdn.thinglink.me/api/image/373188659299483649/1024/10/scaletowidth#tl-373188659299483649;626328886" style="width: 620px; height: 406px;" /><script async charset="utf-8" src="//cdn.thinglink.me/jse/embed.js"></script></p><p><strong>Between South Shore Drive and Coles</strong></p><p dir="ltr">South Shore is truly mixed-income. Approximately 2,700 housing vouchers are in use there, meaning that Section 8 subsidized housing is more present here than in any other Chicago neighborhood. I happen to believe the best skyline city views are in South Shore (and I&rsquo;ve got company in that opinion). There&rsquo;s a modicum of commercial activity, Obama&rsquo;s <a href="http://italianfiestapizzeria.com/" target="_blank">favorite pizza place</a> and large homes with lots of hardwood character and detail. There&rsquo;s also crime, and it&#39;s home to the <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-02-27/news/chi-authorities-20-years-for-highranking-terror-town-gangster-20130227_1_chicago-police-street-gang-black-p-stone-nation" target="_blank">Terror Town </a>faction of the Black P Stone Nation.</p><p dir="ltr">And all of this is in plain sight.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FOR%20WEB%20natalie%20interview_edited-1.jpg" style="height: 186px; width: 275px; float: right;" title="Natalie Moore interviews Lawrence Wilder, a landscaper and maintenance man who has lived on 74th Street and Coles Avenue. for most of his life. (WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" /></p><p dir="ltr">Lawrence Wilder, a landscaper and maintenance man, has lived on 74th and Coles Ave. for most of his life. He said families have struggled to pay property taxes and utilities when senior citizen homeowners pass down their houses to their children.</p><p dir="ltr">Wilder notices the differences between South Shore Drive and Coles Avenue.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;About 10 years ago, maybe more than that, it was like a murder on every corner within a five-block radius,&rdquo; Wilder said. &ldquo;Because once they started moving people out the projects, putting them over there in them buildings, them transient spots and stuff, it gets wild. So they eventually move out or lose their Section 8 voucher and it dies down. Or when someone get out jail, now he wanna be, &lsquo;I&rsquo;m gonna take over and all this kind of stuff.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The day Marya and I ventured out, we brought along <a href="http://www.uic.edu/cuppa/upp/faculty/smith.html" target="_blank">Janet Smith</a>, an urban policy professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago. At one point, while sitting in the car and admiring the vista of the lake while parked on one of those South Shore Drive cul de sacs, Smith weighed in on what distinguishes this area from Coles Avenue.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;[People] are connected to that space of the view of the lake, view of the city. They&rsquo;re holding onto the piece of land. It&rsquo;s a foothold to the beach. They can literally have their back to change around them &mdash; good or bad,&rdquo; Smith told us.</p><p dir="ltr">Further west, there&rsquo;s another desirable section of South Shore &mdash; the Jackson Park Highlands &mdash; with borders at 67th to 71st, Cregier Avenue to Euclid Avenue. There&rsquo;s no access to the Highlands from 71st Street, and inside the four-block radius lies a mini-labyrinth of one-way streets and cul de sacs. (I was told if criminals are confused, they&rsquo;re less likely to enter.) Every new homeowner receives a welcome basket of food and pays $50 annually to the neighborhood association, which funds mosquito abatement, holiday events and summer functions. The housing stock is similar to a Hyde Park or Kenwood but at a much lower price point.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FOR%20WEB%20highlands%20screen%20capture.png" style="width: 620px;" title="The Highlands neighborhood as seen from above. The area, with its swath of landscaped greenery and single-family homes, is clearly distinct from the apartment buildings nearby.(Source: Google)" /></p><p dir="ltr">Yvonne Webb and her husband moved to the Highlands almost 40 years ago. If an ambulance pulls up to a neighbor&rsquo;s home, the phone rings. They let each other know when they travel out of town. They have phone trees to call the police.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We try to get to know our neighbors,&rdquo; Webb said. &ldquo;We all have a vested interest. People want a certain quality of life. I think it&rsquo;s because it&rsquo;s an ownership aspect because it&rsquo;s not so transient here and we&rsquo;re all looking for the same thing &mdash; a high-quality of life. Without being elitist. I have to say that because I think that&rsquo;s something very important. I don&rsquo;t think it&rsquo;s an elitist thing; I think it&rsquo;s a sense of community.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">There are just a few apartment buildings within the Highlands. But on the margins of that community lie huge multi-unit apartments. Tammye Coleman, a nine-year Highland resident, said apartment dwellers aren&rsquo;t afforded the same type of community-building opportunities.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If landlords had that same mentality, or [if] someone could organize fun things to do. You rarely see block club parties on a block that&rsquo;s all apartment buildings because then who coordinates it? You never get a chance to meet your neighbors,&rdquo; Coleman said.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FORWEB%20changing%20cars_edited-1.jpg" style="height: 247px; width: 370px; float: left;" title="A study in contrasts on Coles Avenue is evident in other kinds of property, too. Here two cars tell two very different stories. (WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" /></p><p dir="ltr">Smith said renters aren&rsquo;t inherently problematic.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I raised a lot of questions about who owns the properties, the multifamily properties. What their intentions were. Were they there to milk the property? So buy it cheap, just put a little bit in, maintain it so it meets the code? Have tenants in there but charge higher rents than they need to. It felt like it was about real estate investment first and not about community,&rdquo; Smith said.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>A takeway</strong></p><p dir="ltr">It was clear from our visit that South Shore residents think about the space they live in, and they see it connected to internal and external forces, too. The physicality &mdash; the impact of the lakefront, the cul de sacs, the pedestrian malls and the street restrictions &mdash; plays a major role. And, as we heard from both residents and Smith, economics and ownership contribute to how different one block can feel from the next.</p><p dir="ltr">The sections of South Shore with strong community associations fare better when it comes to keeping their blocks safe and pretty. No one Marya and I spoke to suggested that there were too many apartment buildings in South Shore, but it&rsquo;s clear those residents &mdash; many of them low-income or lower-middle class &mdash; don&rsquo;t have similar safety nets of phone trees and block clubs. Their landlords don&rsquo;t invest in those efforts. And it makes some sense; they&rsquo;re investing in beachfront property, perhaps waiting for paydirt. Put enough of these different incentives close together, and you build a small, but real, division &mdash; one that&rsquo;s apparent to neighborhood natives and newcomers alike.</p></p> Tue, 26 Mar 2013 17:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/neighborhood-divisions-laid-bare-span-block-106299 There in Chicago (#11) http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-08/there-chicago-11-101207 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/11--2012.JPG" title="Jeffery Boulevard at 71st Street--view north" /></div></div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/11--1956--Jeffery-71st_0.jpg" title="1956--the same view" /></div></div><p>How well did you find your way around 1956 Chicago?</p><p>The clue is the railroad crossing gates visible above the bus. The gates indicate that this is probably 71st Street, with the Illinois Central commuter line running down the middle.</p><p>Though the buildings remain, there are many small changes. The street lights are different and the busses are bigger. The Peter Pan Restaurant is now a currency exchange, and the South Shore National Bank has been replaced by the Urban Partnership Bank. Drewrys Bock Beer is only a memory. But the trees along Jeffery have grown nicely.</p></p> Fri, 03 Aug 2012 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-08/there-chicago-11-101207 Wading into Chicago's segregated past http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-04/wading-chicagos-segregated-past-90113 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-August/2011-08-04/241405524_caa4c5c515_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Violence is deeply rooted in Chicago’s history. Racial tensions contributed to that sad truth for years but in 1960s, it was a truth many young people could no longer swallow. They confronted hate with, of all things, non-violent demonstrations. The peaceful but sometimes dangerous strategy became a cornerstone of the Civil Rights Movement. Fifty years ago, Chicago’s beaches were segregated—not by law but by neighbors.<br> So demonstrators decided to wade-in. WBEZ’s<a href="http://www.wbez.org/staff/richard-steele" target="_blank"> Richard Steele</a> brought <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> the story. And one quick warning--- there is strong language in this conversation.</p><p><em>Music Button: Ramsey Lewis, "Wade in the Water", from the Album Hang On Ramsey/Wade in the Water, (BGO Records)</em></p><p>Race relations in America took a decided but difficult turn in the 1960s. Non-violent demonstrations across the country confronted racism, segregation and hatred head on. Young people, students—black and white—took part in sit-ins and freedom rides.</p><p>Though much attention was paid to the Jim Crow South, Chicago had its own racial divide.</p><p>A number of Chicago neighborhoods that had been, “all white,” became integrated—South Shore was one of those neighborhoods. As blacks continued to move in and attempted to use public facilities, like Rainbow Beach, there was a growing resentment stewing among a vocal segment of the white community.</p><p>The tension turned physical in August of 1960. A black policeman and his family were run off Rainbow Beach by other beachgoers. The incident sparked a “call to action” from Velma Murphy, who was president of the NAACP Youth Council; and so she gathered her troops. She turned to another young organizer who had successfully wrangled white support at the University of Chicago. Norm Hill helped integrate the effort—and won Velma’s heart in the process. They married within the year and are still married to this day.</p><p>They knew there was potential for violence but they were young—and brazen. Velma said it was the audacity of young people; that they didn’t think they would be hurt and that the police would protect them. But the police weren’t there and they were hurt—no one more than Velma. She shared her vivid memories of what happened on that hot August day on Rainbow Beach.</p><p>Their demonstration was not met with unconditional support from the civil rights community. Steele spoke to Timuel Black who is a retired college professor, political activist and one of the black community’s most highly respected historians. Black remembered, in fact, being asked to stop the demonstrators.</p><p>But they were young and not easily discouraged. So they went back to the beach—week after week. And Black started going too. At the time, Black was the Chicago president of the American Labor Council. So, he made sure the “city fathers” paid attention and that the protestors were protected by Chicago police officers.</p><p>Many forget about the wade-ins at Rainbow Beach. But Velma Murphy Hill can’t. The summer of 1960 and her experience on the sands of that beach etched deep physical and emotional scars. The events of that day changed Velma’s life forever—and gave it new purpose.</p><p>The memory and importance of the wade-ins of the early 1960s at Rainbow Beach should not be carried out with the tides of time. A coalition of civil rights and labor groups hope to make sure of that.</p><p>Fifty years later, an historic marker will be dedicated at Rainbow Beach on Saturday, Aug. 20—and it is what will ultimately bring Velma back to the beach.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 04 Aug 2011 14:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-04/wading-chicagos-segregated-past-90113 Architectural sketches of South Shore http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-05-16/architectural-sketches-south-shore-86632 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-17/South Shore blgd_Lee Bey.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-17/P5073342.jpg" style="width: 497px; height: 323px;" title=""></p><p>I took a photostroll recently through a section of South Shore.</p><p>The neighborhood has a wealth of fine residential and pre-war commercial architecture that goes largely unsung--at least by many of those who aren't from the area. The folks who live there know what they've got, but more on that later.</p><p>Let's begin at the top of the post with a two-story retail building--with second story apartments--on 71st Street.It is a handsome brick-and-terra-cotta structure. The rounded first floor store entrance is a welcoming presence on the wide intersection. The Metra Electric travels on the rails in the foreground.&nbsp;</p><p>The home below is in South Shore's Jackson Highlands subsection, where the broad lawns and larger homes resemble the stuff you'd see in Oak Park, Beverly or other largely middle-to-upper middle class areas built before World War II.&nbsp;</p><p>I'm digging that Dutch gambrel roof and the well-cut shrubbery (although depending on your monitor, you might be getting unfortunate <em><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moir%C3%A9_pattern">moire</a></em> lines across the brickwork):</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-17/P5073351.jpg" style="width: 472px; height: 420px;" title=""></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Look at this Florentine beauty at 70th and Constance, also in the Jackson Highlands. The 84-year-old home boasts a Mediterranean tile roof and some traffic-stopping exterior brickwork.</p><p>Louis Richardson, vice president of the Rock Island Railroad, built the house in 1927, but died four years later. His widow, Mahala, died in 1934 at the age of 56:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-17/P5073356.jpg" style="width: 507px; height: 592px;" title=""></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The home is the work of architects Betts, Holcomb &amp; Baron. Holcomb &amp; Baron is a firm that also designed movie theaters.&nbsp; Looks like the house suffered some interior fire damage. Workers were their either cleaning it or fixing it when I walked by.</p><p>Meawhile, gaze (because mere "looking" hardly suffices) at the home's main entrance:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-17/P5073359.jpg" style="width: 439px; height: 658px;" title=""></p><p>I took the photostroll with South Shore residents who are newly-trained as neighborhood docents by the <a href="http://caf.architecture.org/">Chicago Architecture Foundation</a>.</p><p>It's a <a href="http://www.southshorechamberinc.org/blog/?p=361">new program</a> in which the organization partners with community leaders to raise up local experts--the folks who already know what they've got--and give them the docent skills to lead tours, identify and talk about the buildings and important places in their neighborhoods. In their own voice. And with their own stories.</p><p>The program soon will expand to include Chatham and other neighborhoods.</p></p> Tue, 17 May 2011 04:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-05-16/architectural-sketches-south-shore-86632 Community banking: ShoreBank's new name and mission http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-07/community-banking-shorebanks-new-name-and-mission-81896 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/ShoreBank Green Project.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Over a number of decades, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.shorebankcorp.com/bins/site/templates/default.asp">ShoreBank</a> gave many in the black community the opportunity to buy a home or start a business. So it was a big blow to many in and around Chicago&rsquo;s South Shore neighborhood when the FDIC <a target="_blank" href="https://www.upbnk.com/about-us/news/in-the-news/releaseid37/">shut the bank</a> down last August.<br /><br />Some five months later, ShoreBank has new owners and a new name &ndash; <a target="_blank" href="https://www.upbnk.com/personal">Urban Partnership Bank</a>. But is their mission the same? And how are they managing the troubled loans that helped lead to the closure of ShoreBank?<em><br /><br />Eight Forty-Eight</em> spoke to William Farrow, President and CEO of Urban Partnership Bank to find out.</p></p> Mon, 07 Feb 2011 14:53:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-07/community-banking-shorebanks-new-name-and-mission-81896 Hundreds mourn fallen Chicago firefighter http://www.wbez.org/story/apostolic-church-god/hundreds-mourn-fallen-chicago-firefighter <p><p>Hundreds of people have turned out to remember a Chicago man who served his city as a police officer before becoming a firefighter. Corey Ankum was one of two Chicago firefighters killed last week when a roof collapsed after a fire.</p><p>Uniformed firefighters poured into a church on Chicago's South Side to honor Ankum, who joined the department less than two years ago. He was killed Dec. 22 while responding to a fire at a vacant laundry building.</p><p>His funeral at Apostolic Church of God will be followed by burial at Lincoln Cemetery in Blue Island.</p><p>Ankum is survived by his wife and three children.</p><p>Firefighter Edward Stringer also died in the roof collapse. Stringer's funeral was Tuesday.</p><p>(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.&nbsp; All Rights Reserved.)<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 30 Dec 2010 18:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/apostolic-church-god/hundreds-mourn-fallen-chicago-firefighter Investigation continues into roof collapse that killed two firefighters http://www.wbez.org/story/collapsed-building/chicago-firefighter-trapped-collapsed-building <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/AP10122213575.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Two Chicago firefighters are dead after battling a blaze on the city's South Side Wednesday morning. Corey Ankum and Edward Stringer died when they entered the building to see if anyone was inside and a wall and roof collapsed.</p><p>In addition to the two who died, 17 firefighters were injured. Chicago Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff said five remained hospitalized last night.</p><p>Hoff said firefighters are still investigating the cause of the fire.</p><p>&quot;We can only put a theory out there that - because the fire wasn't that well involved in that area, it was more of an office area in the back that maybe the snow and ice,&quot; Hoff said. &quot;There are many things that could contribute: age of the building. We're looking into all those things right now.&quot;</p><p>Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said the two men who died were among four firefighters buried in debris Wednesday morning when the building's roof collapsed. Langford says the injured include firefighters who rushed to rescue those trapped.<br /> <br />Firefighters were battling the blaze at the one-story building when a wall and the roof collapsed. Wednesday is the 100th anniversary of the Union Stock Yards fire that killed 21 Chicago firefighters.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 22 Dec 2010 14:40:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/collapsed-building/chicago-firefighter-trapped-collapsed-building