WBEZ | real estate http://www.wbez.org/tags/real-estate Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en In Chicago's Beverly neighborhood, integration is no accident http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/chicagos-beverly-neighborhood-integration-no-accident-109922 <p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="375" scrolling="no" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/wDl-MDSpfrk?rel=0" width="620"></iframe></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/146164257&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Editor&#39;s note:&nbsp;We&rsquo;ll be continuing this conversation at an event at the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.beverlyartcenter.org/">Beverly Arts Center</a>&nbsp;on Tuesday, June 17. Check back here or <a href="http://wbez.org/events">wbez.org/events</a> for details&nbsp;</em><em>&mdash;</em><em>&nbsp;we&rsquo;ll be posting them soon.</em></p><p>Erin McDuffie is from Ohio. Her husband grew up in Champaign, Ill. A mixed-race household with a toddler, they wanted to buy a house in a stable integrated South Side community. Their search led them to Beverly about three years ago. Beverly still has strong ties to its white ethnic roots, but also has a sizable number of African-Americans. Erin wondered what happened to make this South Side neighborhood different than Roseland or Englewood, which long ago became predominantly black.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/erin snow FOR WEB.jpg" style="height: 137px; width: 220px; float: right;" title="Erin McDuffie, left, asked how Chicago's Beverly neighborhood maintained racial integration. (Photo courtesy Erin McDuffie)" /></p><p>Erin asked Curious City:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>How has Beverly managed to maintain racial integration while the majority of other South Side neighborhoods experienced white flight?</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>A little background</strong></p><p>In hyper-segregated Chicago, Beverly is often regarded as a South Side oasis of integration. Unlike integrated Hyde Park or Rogers Park on the North Side, there&rsquo;s<a href="http://www.uchicago.edu/"> no</a> university<a href="http://www.luc.edu/"> to anchor</a> Beverly or play a significant role in real estate.</p><p>The neighborhood is home to arguably the<a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/top-notch-beefburgers/Location?oid=1024342"> best cheap burger</a> and fries in the city. Beverly&rsquo;s beauty is visible in its hilly streets and oversized lots, with homes designed by this <a href="http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM73DF_Raymond_W_Evans_Residence_Chicago_IL">legendary architect</a> among others. Mansions snake along Longwood Drive and the neighborhood&rsquo;s interior boasts an array of architectural styles, from Tudor to Italianate to Queen Anne to Spanish Colonial. Buoyed by its commitment to supporting local businesses, there&rsquo;s<a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2009-01-09/classified/chi-beverly-profile_chomes_0109jan09_1_houses-landmark-districts-neighborhoods"> a quaintness</a> to Beverly.</p><p>According to the Woodstock Institute, today the neighborhood is 62 percent white and 34 percent black. But it wasn&rsquo;t always that way.</p><p>For the first half of the 20th century, Chicago&rsquo;s black families were confined to a chain of neighborhoods on the South Side known as the Black Belt &ndash; often in<a href="http://museum.icp.org/museum/exhibitions/bronzeville/bronzeville1.htm"> cramped kitchenettes</a>. But after the landmark U.S. Supreme Court Case<a href="http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/334/1/case.html"> Shelley v. Kraemer</a> struck down <a href="http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/1067.html">racially restrictive real estate covenants</a> in 1948, Chicago&rsquo;s neighborhood racial composition changed dramatically.</p><p>With new housing options, blacks moved farther south to neighborhoods with attractive single-family homes such as Chatham, Englewood, Avalon Park and Calumet Heights. White families couldn&rsquo;t pack their bags fast enough, at times even moving during the middle of the night. From 1950 to 1960, Englewood&rsquo;s white population dropped from 89 percent to 31 percent. The story of<a href="http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2013/11/mapping-60-years-white-flight-brain-drain-and-american-migration/7449/"> White Flight</a> played out similarly in other neighborhoods. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/chicagos-beverly-neighborhood-integration-no-accident-109922#censusdata2">(see Census chart.)</a></p><p>Beverly, however, was an exception.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/for%20web%20houses.jpg" style="float: right; height: 214px; width: 320px;" title="Single-family houses on a residential Beverly street, 1974. (Photo courtesy UIC Digital Collections)" /></p><p>Black families didn&rsquo;t immediately move to Beverly, which was almost as far south as one could get before leaving the city and included more expensive housing stock. Some of the white Beverly families had already fled places like South Shore and Roseland once blacks starting buying homes there in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1970, Beverly was 99 percent white. Some community leaders and real estate agents warned the neighborhood would devolve into a &ldquo;black ghetto&rdquo; if blacks started moving in. But a band of determined neighborhood planners helped Beverly push past the early opposition.</p><p>My search for an answer to Erin&rsquo;s Curious City question led me to <a href="http://chicagohistory.org/research">Chicago History Museum&rsquo;s Research Center</a> and the<a href="http://www.ridgehistoricalsociety.org/commun_hist02.html"> Ridge Historical Society</a> in Beverly. Combing through documents and original source material, I discovered that the<a href="http://www.bapa.org/content.asp?contentid=25"> Beverly Area Planning Association</a> (BAPA) stepped in to quell white fears, welcome its new black neighbors, battle the real estate industry and craft a new mission statement that celebrated diversity. The nonprofit community organization changed its direction in 1971 from a group concerned with zoning and parking to one working toward stabilized integration. BAPA&rsquo;s service area includes the sister community Morgan Park.</p><p><strong>&ldquo;Integration is inevitable&rdquo;</strong></p><p>That line comes from a flip chart called<a href="http://www.bapa.org/article.asp?articleid=1544"> &ldquo;Beverly Now&rdquo;</a> by future BAPA member L. Patrick Stanton. In 1971, Stanton toured the neighborhood to give presentations about integration. I found the original sheets penned in magic marker when Erin and I visited the Ridge Historical Society. (Stanton still lives in Beverly, as do six of his nine children and three grandchildren.)</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/bapa%20pat%20stanton.jpg" style="float: left; width: 190px; height: 400px;" title="Patrick Stanton gave presentations about positive racial integration in Beverly throughout the 1970s. " />During this 1970s period, Beverly was a mostly Irish-Catholic neighborhood. BAPA hired Phillip Dolan, a former city administrator from Columbus, Ohio, as its new executive director. He set up a hotline for rumor control to relay accurate information in the wake of buzz about blacks buying in the neighborhood. BAPA staff members visited certain blocks to encourage people to stay in Beverly.</p><p>Residents also chafed against<a href="http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/147.html"> &ldquo;blockbusting,&rdquo;</a> efforts by real estate agents to trigger the turnover of white-owned homes to blacks. Also known as &ldquo;panic peddling,&rdquo; this practice urged whites to sell before it was &ldquo;too late&rdquo; and &ldquo;the blacks&rdquo; lowered their property values. Agents might hire black subagents to walk or drive through a changing neighborhood to solicit business or behave in such a way to exaggerate white fears. In these scenarios, worried whites would sell their home cheaply and a panic peddler would inflate the price to, in turn, sell the home to a black family.</p><p>At the Chicago History Museum, I unearthed original BAPA newsletters from the 1970s. BAPA implored homeowners to sign &ldquo;letters of agency&rdquo; to prevent unauthorized solicitation from real estate agents. These letters asserted homeowners had no intention to sell. BAPA kept the letters on file and served &ldquo;uncooperative&rdquo; real estate firms with a notice to cease solicitation. Homeowners also refrained from putting for-sale signs in their yard.</p><p>Dolan told the Tribune in 1976: &ldquo;White families in urban areas must realize they can&rsquo;t run away from blacks. And they must realize that middle-class blacks and whites both want the same things &ndash; good schools, good services, low crime rate. At the same time, blacks are realizing that a neighborhood that is all one race increases the process of deterioration.&rdquo;</p><p>Between 1970 and 1980, the black population in Beverly grew from .1 percent to almost 14 percent. My aunt Joyce Bristow, a retired Chicago Public Schools administrator, was among the wave of those first black families.</p><p>She and her husband had been living in Little Italy and wanted to put down roots on the South Side near family. They felt Hyde Park was too congested and the houses in Chatham too old. In 1977, the couple fell in love with a tri-level house in Beverly.</p><p>&ldquo;It was a neighborhood that was always fascinating,&rdquo; Aunt Joyce said. &ldquo;I wanted diversity but that wasn&rsquo;t the main selling point. The house was the main selling point.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m always proud to say I&rsquo;ve lived in Beverly for 35 years. People are always taken aback by that.&rdquo;</p><p>Financially, it has been a good decision; her property value is up 300 percent. But that first year someone threw rocks in the big picture window off of the living room. My aunt said she assumed it was racially motivated.</p><p>&ldquo;We knew people weren&rsquo;t happy about blacks in Beverly. It made me nervous. A lot of times I closed the drapes. It made my parents very nervous.&rdquo;</p><p>Only one other black family resided on the well-manicured block when my aunt moved in. (Today there are at least 10.) Back then, apparently, that made the lone black owner nervous. Aunt Joyce said he filed a complaint against her black real estate agent for selling to another black on the block.<a name="censusdata2"></a></p><hr /><p><i>Chart: Racial makeup of South Side neighborhoods (1950-2013)</i><script type="text/javascript" src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/static/modules/gviz/1.0/chart.js"> {"dataSourceUrl":"//docs.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/spreadsheet/tq?key=0Am-AbC8HDbXMdGhITU9jTkt1YTNxd1NhN2hPaUV5U2c&transpose=0&headers=1&range=A1%3AC56&gid=0&pub=1","options":{"titleTextStyle":{"fontSize":16},"vAxes":[{"useFormatFromData":true,"title":"Left vertical axis title","minValue":null,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null},{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null}],"sortColumn":null,"booleanRole":"certainty","title":"Chart title","showRowNumber":false,"annotations":{"domain":{"style":"line"}},"alternatingRowStyle":true,"hAxis":{"useFormatFromData":true,"title":"Horizontal axis title","minValue":null,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null},"width":600,"height":371},"state":{},"view":{"columns":[0,{"label":"WHITE","properties":{"role":"annotation"},"sourceColumn":1},{"label":"BLACK","properties":{"role":"annotationText"},"sourceColumn":2}]},"isDefaultVisualization":true,"chartType":"Table","chartName":"Chart 1"} </script></p><p><i>Sources: Local Community Fact Book of Chicago, Woodstock Institute</i></p><p><strong>Racial steering</strong></p><p>Presumably, my aunt&rsquo;s neighbor feared so-called &ldquo;racial steering&rdquo; on his block. BAPA publicly worried about re-segregation in Beverly, too. They didn&rsquo;t want real estate agents selling homes consecutively, say three or more, to blacks on any given block.</p><p>Charles Shanabruch, who&rsquo;s white, led BAPA in the 1980s. I met up with him at a downtown Chicago coffee shop. He moved to Beverly in the late 1970s with his wife and two sons.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/historic%20society%20embed%20photo%20FOR%20WEB.png" style="float: right; height: 192px; width: 300px;" title="WBEZ reporter Natalie Moore, right, flips through original documents from the Beverly Area Planning Association with question-asker Erin McDuffie, left, at the Ridge Historical Society. (WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" /></p><p>&ldquo;It was a diverse community; that was important to us,&rdquo; Shanabruch said. Blacks continued to move to the neighborhood but another real estate force threatened that progress.</p><p>In the mid-1980s, Beverly, and a dozen integrated south and western suburbs conducted a testing program in which black and white couples of comparable incomes posed as potential home buyers to see how real estate agents treated them. BAPA said white testers were discouraged from racially integrated areas and black testers usually were steered away from homes in predominantly white suburbs. My aunt and late uncle &ndash; then a BAPA board member &ndash; were testers.</p><p>BAPA sued four Southwest suburban real estate firms for steering blacks to Beverly only. White clients were told they wouldn&rsquo;t want to live in Beverly because they wouldn&rsquo;t be comfortable in an integrated neighborhood. BAPA lost the first case and settled the other four. Real estate agents went through training, but more importantly, Shanabruch said it put the industry on notice.</p><p>&ldquo;I still have a visceral reaction,&rdquo; Shanabruch said of the first case. &ldquo;The problem was the jury was an all-white jury. Every time a black came up to be considered, the defense did a preempt [to keep blacks off.]&rdquo;</p><p>Realtors struck back. They sued BAPA, accusing the organization of trying to keep suburban brokers from doing business in Beverly and Morgan Park. BAPA prevailed against the lawsuit.</p><p>But some proponents of open housing took umbrage with BAPA. Frank Williams, a realtor, Beverly resident and president of the South Side NAACP branch told <em>The Chicago Tribune</em> in 1985: &ldquo;What is the difference between Cicero, which says we don&rsquo;t want any of you, and a community like Beverly, which says we are going to practice integration maintenance and we will do everything possible not to allow any more than three of you on a block? I don&rsquo;t see a difference.&rdquo;</p><p>Shanabruch, then and now, insisted Beverly did not have a quota system to keep a racial balance. In a <em>Tribune</em> letter to the editor, he wrote: &ldquo;If only blacks are being shown houses in certain areas of our neighborhood or on certain blocks, we watch more carefully, encouraging blacks to look at other parts of the neighborhood and other areas in order to offset any effect that dealers&rsquo; steering might have. Likewise, we encourage whites not to limit their options, but encourage them to consider the aforementioned block.&rdquo;</p><p>During our recent coffee, Shanabruch told me he worried resegregation on a block-by-block level would&rsquo;ve made whites nervous and disrupted the neighborhood. BAPA saw the neighborhood in competition with suburbs like Oak Park and Evanston, communities that put a premium on integration. BAPA placed ads in <em>Chicago</em> magazine and set up booths and home fairs. The pitch? If you like architecture, great schools and leafy canopies, come to Beverly.</p><p><strong>Integrated Schools</strong></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/sutherland%20photo%201.jpg" style="height: 180px; width: 320px; float: right;" title="Sutherland Elementary School was part of a desegregation plan in the early 1980s. (WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" />I grew up in Chatham, but my siblings and I rode a yellow school bus to attend Sutherland Elementary in Beverly. In the early 1980s, Chicago Public Schools unveiled a<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1981/04/04/us/chicago-announces-plans-to-desegregate-schools.html"> desegregation plan</a> for students that included busing. My parents loved our black middle-class neighborhood but felt strongly that their three children should receive an integrated education. I didn&rsquo;t realize I was part of a social experiment until much later in college. I just knew that only black kids rode the bus and I couldn&rsquo;t walk home for lunch. Not just because it was too far, but because unlike many of my white classmates&rsquo; mothers, mine worked during the day.</p><p>Overall, I loved Sutherland, loved my teachers and had black and white friends over for sleepovers, and vice versa. But I did experience odd moments of racial consciousness at a young age in Beverly. For a long time I thought only white kids ate white bread and black kids ate wheat bread, based on what I saw at the lunch tables. Imagine my surprise when one day I saw a white classmate unwrap his sandwich with wheat bread. Then there was gym class, which I hated because the teacher was mean to me. A few years ago, I ran into our beloved former principal, who&rsquo;s white, and told him the story. He explained the gym teacher eventually left because she didn&rsquo;t adapt too well to new black kids in the school.</p><p>During this time Beverly leaders like Shanabruch pushed for magnet schools and enhanced programs &ndash; like the one at Sutherland called Options for Knowledge - to keep and attract families. Sometimes white families stayed, but the neighborhood schools remained strong irrespective of racial composition.</p><p>Jennifer Smith, who is white, grew up in Beverly along with her six siblings. They all attended Vanderpoel Magnet for elementary school in the 1980s. One year she was the only white girl in her classroom.</p><p>&ldquo;When I was a kid, I didn&rsquo;t really think about the fact that all of my friends were African American. It was just normal,&rdquo; Smith said. Her parents believed in public education. Smith and her younger sister were best friends with two black sisters on their block.</p><p>The racial tension came from elsewhere.</p><p>&ldquo;I feel in the 1980s, there was a sharp divide between the (white) Catholic school kids and the (white) public school kids. Most of the white people in Beverly sent their kids to Catholic schools,&rdquo; Smith said. &ldquo;We got called a lot of racial epithets like &lsquo;n-word lover.&rsquo; But it didn&rsquo;t shake our world up too much. We would throw stuff back and fight with them.&rdquo;<a name="cpsdata"></a></p><script type="text/javascript" src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/static/modules/gviz/1.0/chart.js"> {"dataSourceUrl":"//docs.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/spreadsheet/tq?key=0Am-AbC8HDbXMdEd1QWFEbVhlZW1xVDRxOW1ibl9jRGc&transpose=0&headers=1&range=A1%3AC7&gid=0&pub=1","options":{"titleTextStyle":{"bold":true,"color":"#000","fontSize":16},"series":{"0":{"errorBars":{"errorType":"none"},"color":"#c9daf8"}},"animation":{"duration":500},"theme":"maximized","width":600,"hAxis":{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"viewWindowMode":null,"viewWindow":null,"maxValue":null},"vAxes":[{"useFormatFromData":true,"title":null,"minValue":null,"logScale":false,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null},{"useFormatFromData":true,"minValue":null,"logScale":false,"viewWindow":{"min":null,"max":null},"maxValue":null}],"booleanRole":"certainty","title":"Racial makeup of public schools in Beverly","height":371,"domainAxis":{"direction":1},"legend":"in","focusTarget":"category","isStacked":true,"tooltip":{}},"state":{},"view":{},"isDefaultVisualization":false,"chartType":"ColumnChart","chartName":"Chart 1"} </script><p><span id="cke_bm_366S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_367S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_368S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_371S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><i>Source: Chicago Public Schools</i><span id="cke_bm_371E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_368E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_367E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span id="cke_bm_366E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span></p><p>Back in the early 1990s, then 16-year-old Morgan Park High School student Todd Clayton and a group of black friends would play basketball at Beverly Park on West 102nd Street. One day, he recalled, a group of white boys with bats and chains chased them away screaming &ldquo;Nigger, this is our park.&rdquo; Clayton and his friends ran to a nearby gas station payphone to call the police.</p><p>&ldquo;When the police arrived on the scene, they didn&rsquo;t do anything to the boys that were still in the park. They told us it would be best for us to stay away from the park to avoid trouble,&rdquo; Clayton said.</p><p>Clayton said they ignored the police officers&rsquo; warning and kept coming back to the park &ndash; but with more guys as &ldquo;reinforcement.&rdquo; The white guys didn&rsquo;t bother them again.</p><p>&ldquo;Our main point was we weren&rsquo;t going to be pushed away,&rdquo; Clayton said. &ldquo;We evened the number for a fair fight if it came to that.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Today&rsquo;s Beverly</strong></p><p>The public schools in Beverly today don&rsquo;t necessarily reflect the diversity of the neighborhood. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/chicagos-beverly-neighborhood-integration-no-accident-109922#cpsdata">(See chart.)</a></p><p>Most chalk it up to the strong Irish-Catholic identity and Catholic schools in the community. <a href="http://morganparkcps.org/special_programs.jsp">Morgan Park High School</a> now has a wall-to-wall International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme that current BAPA executive director Matt Walsh hopes will be a draw to families.</p><p>Walsh said BAPA&rsquo;s annual home tour, <a href="http://www.bapa.org/RIDGERUN/">Ridge Run</a> and other special events are used to lure people to the area. &ldquo;People here want to live in a racially diverse community. We continue to work on it,&rdquo; Walsh said, acknowledging that people don&rsquo;t always socialize as much as he would like. Recently, the <a href="http://www.beverlyartcenter.org/">Beverly Arts Center</a> hired<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/beverly-arts-center-hires-new-executive-director-109725"> Heather Ireland Robinson</a>, in part, to bring in more diverse programming.</p><p>But challenges remain. In late February, a musician wrote in his&nbsp;<a href="http://icestentatious06.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/too-many-black-people-at-mcnallys-says-chicago-police-officer/">blog</a> about an untoward racial incident at McNally&rsquo;s, a bar on 111th and Western &ndash; technically the Morgan Park neighborhood. Many of the bars on Western Avenue between Beverly and Morgan Park have a reputation &ndash; rightly or wrongly &ndash; of not being open to blacks. The blog post spread via social media. &nbsp;</p><p>I called McNally&rsquo;s and was told the bar did not have a statement.</p><p>BAPA swiftly responded with an e-mail blast: &ldquo;Recently, an incident which allegedly occurred at a local establishment generated a whirlwind of passionate conversations on diversity in Beverly Hills/Morgan Park. While BAPA does not have all the details or specific facts involving this incident, it is clear from the exchanges on blogs, emails, Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media that diversity, whether it be racial or ethnic, is an important cornerstone of this community. In fact, Beverly Hills/Morgan Park is one of the most integrated neighborhoods in Chicago, and BAPA has a rich history in working to achieve this&hellip;. With so many neighbors reaching out to BAPA and the greater online community to share their commitment to integration, diversity and inclusion, we truly do believe that we have a new &lsquo;shot at greatness.&rsquo; Bring us your concerns and your ideas, get involved in not just the conversation but the connection.&rdquo;</p><p>So, is that connection something Curious City question-asker Erin McDuffie feels living in Beverly today?</p><p>&ldquo;As far as the South Side is concerned, it means something to people &ndash; and to white people in Beverly in particular &ndash; to have integration,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;And I think for black families who live here, my hope is that we feel accepted and know that&rsquo;s coming from a genuine place.&rdquo;</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/nmoore-0" target="_blank">Natalie Moore</a> is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/natalieymoore" target="_blank">@natalieymoore</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 16:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/chicagos-beverly-neighborhood-integration-no-accident-109922 The next supertall building in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/next-supertall-building-chicago-108531 <p><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/new topper for skyscrapers.jpg" title="" /></div></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/120917025&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>If you want to see evidence of the recession&rsquo;s impact on skyscraper construction, you don&rsquo;t need to pore over spreadsheets or the architectural billings index.</p><p>You just need to go to 400 N. Lake Shore Dr., where you&rsquo;ll find a pit about 100 ft. wide and 80 ft. deep.<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-08/what-might-have-been-ill-fated-chicago-spire-101922"> The ill-fated Chicago Spire</a> was supposed to be the tallest building in the western hemisphere. But the twisting 2,000-foot tower failed to attract enough financing and was hit with foreclosure lawsuits. Now it&rsquo;s the most-watched hole in the ground in Chicago real estate.</p><p>In June real estate developer<a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2013/06/24/related-in-deal-to-buy-distressed-debt-on-stalled-chicago-spire-project/"> Related Cos. of New York reportedly entered talks to buy the Spire&#39;s discounted debt</a>. A spokeswoman for the company declined to comment &ldquo;as it is currently the subject of litigation.&rdquo;</p><p>One-time Chicagoan and curious citizen Andrew Wambach remembers the excitement surrounding the Spire.</p><p>&ldquo;One of the things I loved about Chicago was its iconic skyline,&rdquo; said Wambach, 28, who moved to Minnesota in April. &ldquo;In Minneapolis we have about three towers and that&rsquo;s it!&rdquo;<img a="" alt="" as="" built="" chicago="" class="image-original_image" exciting="" full="" fully="" is="" it="" made="" metropolis="" minneapolis="" more="" moving="" of="" on="" one="" out="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/andrew%20wambach%20photo.jpeg" starter="" style="height: 265px; width: 175px; float: right;" that="" the="" things="" title="Andrew Wambach is from Minneapolis but moved to Chicago for work between 2011-2013." to="" was="" where="" with="" /></p><p>So he asked us:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>When will Chicago get its next super tall skyscraper?</em></p><p>Massive developments are difficult to design and build. But when they do happen, it&rsquo;s generally because two important factors came together to make building up pay off: egos and economics.</p><p><strong>But first, just how tall is that?</strong></p><p>Andrew didn&rsquo;t know this when he asked the question, but &ldquo;supertall&rdquo; is an objective term. Chicago&rsquo;s own Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat is the authority on such matters. They deem any building over 300 meters, or 984 feet, &ldquo;supertall.&rdquo; Six buildings in Chicago qualify: The Trump Tower, Willis Tower, Aon Center, John Hancock Center, AT&amp;T Corporate Center, and Two Prudential Plaza.</p><p>Walk into any major architectural office and you&rsquo;ll see plenty of renderings pinned to the wall, showing buildings reaching great heights. They&rsquo;re just in Jeddah, Seoul, Abu Dhabi, Beijing &mdash; not Chicago.</p><p>In 2011 CTBUH even had to add a new category of tall building to reflect the explosive growth of tall buildings in recent years. So-called &ldquo;megatall&rdquo; buildings stand at least 600 meters (1,968 feet) tall. There are only two complete megatall buildings: the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and the Royal Hotel Clock Tower in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Construction topped out this month on the Shanghai Tower, 632 meters (2,074 feet) tall.<a href="http://www.ctbuh.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=M0GYftI6cgI%3D&amp;tabid=2926&amp;language=en-US" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Diagram%20of%20the%20predicted%20World%27s%2020%20Tallest%20in%20the%20year%202020%20as%20of%20Dec%202011CTBUH.jpg" style="height: 400px; width: 620px;" title="For context, here's a diagram of the predicted world's 20 tallest buildings in the year 2012. These projections were made in December, 2011. (Courtesy of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat)" /></a></p><p><strong>A likely candidate?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;If there was a great location, a great site, a developer that really had the willpower to pull something off, it certainly could happen,&rdquo; said Rafael Carreira, a principal with <a href="http://tjbc.com">The John Buck Company</a>. &ldquo;But the larger a project gets, the harder it is to finance, the harder it is to pre-sell or premarket ... and those are factors that make these supertalls hard to do.&rdquo;</p><p>In July City Council approved the first part of an audacious redevelopment plan for the massive Old Main Post Office downtown, which has loomed vacant over the Eisenhower Expressway since 1996. The plans come from British developer Bill Davies&rsquo; International Property Developers and local architects Antunovich Associates. They call first for a rehab of the existing 2.7 million square foot post office and the construction of a 1,000-foot tower, to be followed in a later phase by a 2,000-foot tower that would be the tallest in the Western Hemisphere.</p><p>The first phase could take eight to 10 years, Joe Antunovich said, while the rest might take 20 years. But first they need to secure financing. The entire project could cost $4 billion. It would be an impressive feat, to be sure. But in that amount of time, Shanghai&rsquo;s Pudong district<a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6600367"> went from mainly farmland to a part of a metropolis with more skyscrapers than New York City</a>.</p><p><strong>Why the action is outside Chicago</strong></p><p>There are a few factors behind Asia&rsquo;s building boom that don&rsquo;t quite apply to Chicago. For one thing, said CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood, Chicago just doesn&rsquo;t need to make a statement with its skyline like Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia did when its Petronas Towers unseated Willis Tower as the world&rsquo;s tallest in 1998.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/hancock%20from%20sears%20by%20wakedog%20flickr.jpg" style="height: 406px; width: 270px; float: left;" title="Chicago's downtown has grown to make the Hancock building seem appropriately sized. (Flickr/wakedog)" /></p><p>&ldquo;What&rsquo;s driving these tall buildings around the world is attention in a global market and population growth,&rdquo; Wood said. &ldquo;And, on the face of it, we&rsquo;re not seeing any of that in Chicago.&rdquo;</p><p><a href="http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/EXTABOUTUS/0,,contentMDK:23272497~pagePK:51123644~piPK:329829~theSitePK:29708,00.html?argument=value">The world gains more than 5 million city dwellers every month</a>, and the U.S. accounts for very little of that urbanization. It&rsquo;s happening in places like China, where<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/16/world/asia/chinas-great-uprooting-moving-250-million-into-cities.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0"> a government plan to move 250 million people into cities by 2025</a> helps generate huge demand for high-density, supertall buildings.</p><p>But even if Chicago isn&rsquo;t home to many new supertalls, it&rsquo;s still a nerve center of sorts for tall building architecture and engineering.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s not many really significant tall buildings that are not happening with some Chicago expertise anywhere in the world &mdash; architectural, engineering, geotechnical, façade &mdash; but some Chicago input,&rdquo; Wood said. &ldquo;However it is fair to say that there has been a major shift in almost all aspects of tall buildings.&rdquo;</p><p>In addition to moving to Asia, supertall towers have changed since Chicago&rsquo;s skyline rose decades ago. Tall towers today tend to have more retail and residential space than their counterparts from previous generations. They are often mixed-use &mdash; combining hotel, retail, office and/or residential space in one building &mdash; and use different structural systems, like concrete-steel composites as opposed to just steel. And rather than bearing corporate names such as Chrysler, Sears and Petronas, they&rsquo;re increasingly named to inspire civic pride: Russia Tower, Chicago Spire; Burj Khalifa was originally called Burj Dubai.</p><p>Brian Lee, a design partner at Skidmore, Owings &amp; Merrill &mdash; the architectural offices behind thousands of skyscrapers around the world, including four of Chicago&rsquo;s six supertalls &mdash; has seen the effect of these projects first-hand.</p><p>&ldquo;We think that the tall building is not the only kind of building type that should be built, obviously. It has limitations,&rdquo; Lee said, &ldquo;but there&rsquo;s something exhilarating about a tall structure that makes a mark for a city and a region.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Our prospects</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Would we be interested? Absolutely &hellip; I think Chicago could stand to have another tall building,&rdquo; Lee said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s composed of multiple centers, so there&rsquo;s many good sites for a tall building that would work.&rdquo;<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chicago-spire-hole-by-Duane%20Rapp%20flickr.jpg" style="height: 166px; width: 250px; float: right;" title="Before buildings go up, first they must go down. Here is the hole for the much-anticipated but perhaps never to be Chicago Spire. (Flickr/Duane Rapp)" /></p><p>The demographic shifts driving the market globally (population growth and urbanization) do exist in the U.S., but on a different scale. Downtown occupancy rates have risen in recent years as people begin to move back to the city center. And for Lee Chicago represents something less tangible, too.</p><p>&ldquo;The spirit of can-do here, and the real appreciation of architecture as being an accomplishment of generations of people that live in Chicago, is very strong,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;So I think that it&rsquo;s a very beautiful place that can accommodate tall buildings. There&rsquo;s a natural balance between the built environment and the natural environment.&rdquo;</p><p>Still, it might not generate enough demand for developers to take the risk on a massive building.</p><p>&ldquo;I might be as bold to say we will never see the world&rsquo;s tallest here again,&rdquo; Wood said. &ldquo;But I would not be as bold to say that we won&rsquo;t see a supertall building here again.&rdquo;</p><p>For our questioner, Andrew Wambach, that might not be so bad.</p><p>&ldquo;Maybe the supertall is done and Chicago doesn&rsquo;t need it anymore. They can say &lsquo;been there, done that. We can be a great city without a supertall structure by the resilience of our neighborhoods, our restaurants, our culture,&rsquo;&rdquo; he said, but &ldquo;if tomorrow they announced the Spire site was going to be the next supertall, I would do a little jump at my job. It would be exciting.&rdquo;</p><p>Andrew raised another interesting question: If skyscrapers are a statement of their city&rsquo;s character, what should influence the design of Chicago&rsquo;s next supertall if it actually comes to be?<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/riverpoint-courtesy-hines-and-pickard-chilton.jpg" style="height: 243px; width: 320px; float: left;" title="A park plan for the base at Riverpoint. (Courtesy of Hines and Pickard Chilton)" /></p><p>New skyscrapers at Wolf Point, River Point and 150 N. Riverside &mdash; three sites abutting the Chicago River at its confluence downtown &mdash; feature riverwalk connections and landscaped parks at their bases. Two of them actually have broader shoulders, as it were, than footprints. Landscape architect Ted Wolff laughed, remembering Wolf Point was the first time he&rsquo;d actually heard an architect tell him to expand his landscaping so far it would hem in the lobby.</p><p>They may not be supertalls by the Council on Tall Buildings&rsquo; definition, but these recently announced high-rises suggest Chicago&rsquo;s architectural legacy may be as much about Millennium Park as it is about Willis Tower.</p><p><em>Chris Bentley is a writer with WBEZ and Midwest Editor for <a href="http://archpaper.com">The Architect&rsquo;s Newspaper</a>. Follow him on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/Cementley">@cementley</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 26 Aug 2013 16:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/next-supertall-building-chicago-108531 Morning Shift: Celebrating the annoying music of Jim Nayder http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-07-01/morning-shift-celebrating-annoying-music-jim-nayder <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Jim_Nayder-timeoutchicago.com_.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Hot Doug&#39;s owner Doug Sohn chats up Tony about his new book, Hot Doug&#39;s: The Book, and how he refined America&#39;s favorite tubular meat. Chicago magazine&#39;s Dennis Rodkin explains how immigrants can boost area home values, according to research done at Duke University.</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-hot-doug-s-and-houses.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-hot-doug-s-and-houses" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Celebrating the annoying music of Jim Nayder" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Mon, 01 Jul 2013 08:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-07-01/morning-shift-celebrating-annoying-music-jim-nayder Report: Drop money in the river, watch it float back http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-05/report-drop-money-river-watch-it-float-back-107107 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/vxla/4748458373/lightbox/" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/river%20by%20vxla.jpg" style="height: 405px; width: 610px;" title="(vxla via Flickr)" /></a></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F91454655" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>The glitzy towers of downtown Chicago are filled with offices that boast impressive financial returns, but their biggest cash flow may be one they all share: the Chicago River.</p><p><a href="http://www.chicagoriver.org/upload/Summary%20Review%20Doc%20SMALLER.pdf">A new report commissioned by Friends of the Chicago River and Openlands</a> says each dollar invested in the river provides a 70 percent return. Completed, planned and proposed improvement projects, the report says, amount to 846 new permanent jobs, 52,400 construction jobs and $130.54 million every year.</p><p>&ldquo;Investing in the Chicago River pays us back,&rdquo; said Lenore Beyer-Clow, policy director for Openlands.</p><p>Friends of the Chicago River, which began as a project of Openlands, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/question-answered-what%E2%80%99s-bottom-chicago-river-102651">has championed the once neglected river</a> since it was a &ldquo;back alleyway full of sewage and trash,&rdquo; in the words of the new report. Mayors Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel have both called attention to the resource, most recently <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-plans-extend-chicago-riverwalk-102965">when Emanuel announced a plan to expand the city&rsquo;s Riverwalk by six blocks</a>. But Margaret Frisbie, the group&rsquo;s executive director, said despite recent progress most people still don&rsquo;t appreciate the full benefits of investing in the river.</p><p>The report looked at four major completed or planned projects involving the river over the last 30 years: the deep tunnel stormwater project TARP; disinfection of wastewater at three area treatment plants; $500 million worth of green infrastructure investment citywide over 15 years; and $93 million in projects by the City of Chicago and Chicago Park District.</p><p>The benefits came in the form of additional business income, tax revenue and jobs, but also avoided flood damage and sewage treatment costs. Investing in the river boots property values along its shores, too.</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift-steve-edwards/2012-05-31/33-wolf-point-development-fire-union-negotiations">Wolf Point</a> and River Point are among the high-profile riverside developments in the portfolio of real estate firm Hines Interests.</p><p>&ldquo;Why are we focused on real estate along the river?&rdquo; asked Greg Van Schaak, senior managing director for Hines. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s very simple: it&rsquo;s more valuable.&rdquo; Van Schaak said whereas rent in most towers varies by floor, buildings along the river retain the same value from the first floor through the fiftieth.</p><p>Van Schaak added that most of the major companies &mdash; Boeing, MillerCoors, BP &mdash; who recently opened offices in Chicago did so in riverfront buildings. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think that&rsquo;s an accident,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Money talks, but it&rsquo;s impossible to neatly quantify many of the benefits that natural systems provide. That may make it difficult to invest strategically even when all parties agree on the overarching value of a natural resource like the Chicago River.</p><p>&ldquo;There are all these ancillary benefits to green infrastructure that aren&rsquo;t quantified when you only look at economic returns,&rdquo; said Debra Shore, an MWRD commissioner. Environmental benefits like carbon sequestration, soil retention and fresh air are valuable too, Shore said, but don&rsquo;t yet appear on the ledger of an economic analysis.</p></p> Thu, 09 May 2013 15:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-05/report-drop-money-river-watch-it-float-back-107107 Google puts up Libertyville Motorola campus for sale http://www.wbez.org/news/google-puts-libertyville-motorola-campus-sale-104713 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/flickr_titanas.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Now that the former headquarters of Motorola Mobility in Libertyville is <a href="http://www.binswanger.com/Resource-Center/Media-Center/Press-Releases/Press-Releases/271/month--201301/vobid--10818/">up for sale</a>, who&rsquo;s likely to buy it?</p><p>Before we think about it - consider first that the most recent vacancy rate for similar office space in Libertyville is 28.7 percent - almost twice as high as in the city.</p><p>That&rsquo;s before you take into the account the Motorola Mobility campus in Libertyville. It sits on 84 acres and is more than a million square feet of office space. To give you an idea of the size, the Merchandise Mart - where the workers <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-07-26/business/chi-motorola-mobility-leaving-libertyville-for-downtown-chicago-20120726_1_motorola-mobility-kevin-willer-lightbank">are moving</a> - is four times that size.</p><p>&quot;If in fact this building were to be added to the competitive market it would add approximately 10 percent to the total inventory in that area,&quot; said <a href="http://www.joneslanglasalle-chicago-forecast2013-website-registration.com/#!robert-kramp/c1o7g">Robert Kramp</a>, who directs regional research for the Great Lakes for Jones Lang LaSalle, the commercial real estate services firm.</p><p>Bult in 1992, the property is really designed as a corporate headquarters. It has 3400 parking spaces. But Kramp thinks convincing a company to move or expand to Illinois right will be a tough sell.</p><p>&quot;Given the challenges that currently face the state of Illinois in addition the fact that the economy has barely begun to recover - not withstanding the uncertainty that is still associated with the federal budget impasse - it will be a very challenging market for this particular property,&quot; Kramp said.</p><p><a href="http://www.libertyville.com/index.aspx?nid=54">Libertyville Mayor Terry Weppler</a> says the state has already committed to helping find potential tenants.</p><p>&quot;I would prefer that there were multiple tenants,&quot; Weppler said, adding that it would lessen the chance of another big company coming in and then leaving.</p></p> Fri, 04 Jan 2013 14:57:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/google-puts-libertyville-motorola-campus-sale-104713 Can a deal put the Congress hotel back in session again? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-12/can-deal-put-congress-hotel-back-session-again-104496 <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/P1010844.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 799px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">The Congress Plaza Hotel, a faded South Michigan Avenue jewel best known for its nine-year hotel workers strike could again shine under a plan to convert portions of the historic property into residences and retail.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">New Jersey-based newsletter <a href="http://www.realert.com/headlines.php?hid=160099">Real Estate Alert reported </a>Wednesday that a partnership led by New York investor David Aim has agreed to pay $275 million for the 120-year-old hotel at 520 S. Michigan Ave. The newsletter said the partnership seeks to &quot;boost revenues at the aging hotel over the next year or two, then redevelop the 1 million-square-foot complex and convert portions into residential condominiums and retail space.&quot; Businessman Albert Nasser Shayo has owned the property since 1987.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The deal has the potential to bring good to the once-grand hotel. Built in 1893 as an annex to the Auditorium Hotel (now Roosevelt University) &mdash; the two buildings were once linked underground via a marbled-walled passageway called Peacock Alley &mdash; the Congress was once among the city&#39;s finer hotels. The 11-story edifice was designed by architect Clinton J. Warren, with matching 1902 and 1907 additions by Holabird &amp; Roche. The Congress has a well-written history of itself, particularly those heady early days, <a href="http://www.congressplazahotel.com/about-our-chicago-hotel/index.cfm">on its website.</a></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</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/72288378_aa673c8647_o.jpg" title="" /></div></div><p>The latter days have been less kind, however, as the 871-room hotel shows its age. In addition, local members of the hotel workers&#39; labor union Unite Here went on strike in June 2003 over the Congress&#39; plans for a seven percent wage cut. The group has walked the picket lines daily since then.</p><p>As part of the Historic Michigan Boulevard Landmark District, the hotel cannot be demolished or significantly altered without city approval.</p></p> Thu, 20 Dec 2012 09:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-12/can-deal-put-congress-hotel-back-session-again-104496 Report: Home foreclosures push down local housing prices http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/report-home-foreclosures-push-down-local-housing-prices-102835 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/home_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Distressed homes have pushed down housing prices in the Chicago area, according to a report released Tuesday by the real estate data and analytics firm CoreLogic.</p><p>Local home prices for August 2012, including homes facing foreclosure, fell 2.5 percent when compared to numbers from the previous year. The report also shows Illinois prices, including distressed home sales, declined 2.3 percent--the second-largest decrease in the United States.</p><p>&quot;The foreclosures and the short-sales have a major impact on our market,&quot; said Matt Silver, a director at the Chicago Association of Realtors. In a phone interview Monday, he said buyers are &quot;a little more cautious on the properties they do buy.&quot;</p><p>But Chicago realtors remained optimistic about the condition of the local housing market, saying that prices are expected to pick back up in the coming months.</p><p>&quot;Foreclosures need to be dealt with. But I think generally speaking, people are optimistic that they can buy a house today and in two years it will be worth similar to what it&rsquo;s worth today,&quot; said Chicago-based realty expert Jeff Lowe in a phone interview.</p><p>According to the CoreLogic report, excluding distressed homes, Chicago-area home prices in August have increased 1.5 percent since last year. Using the same measure, Illinois prices also rose 1.2 percent.</p><p>Meanwhile, home prices have risen nationwide. Including distressed properties, values increased 4.6 percent compared to August 2011. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p>&quot;Again this month prices rose on a year-over-year basis and our expectation is for that to continue in September based on our pending [...] forecast,&quot; said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a statement.</p><p>&quot;The housing markets gains are increasingly geographically diverse with only six states continuing to show declining prices.&quot;&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 02 Oct 2012 13:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/report-home-foreclosures-push-down-local-housing-prices-102835 Pitchfork Day 3: Ty Segall, Real Estate, Kendrick Lamar… and (sorta) Lady Gaga http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-07/pitchfork-day-3-ty-segall-real-estate-kendrick-lamar%E2%80%A6-and-sorta-lady <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/ty%20segall.jpg" title="Ty Segall. (Photo by Robert Loerzel)" /></div><p>As expected, prolific San Francisco garage rocker Ty Segall took the main stage in mid-afternoon and immediately claimed it as his own with a furious sound and a confident presence that belied his young age or the fact that he&rsquo;s spent much of his time in the musical spotlight before late recording alone in his bedroom.</p><p>Touring in support of the brilliant <em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-07/record-reviews-roundup-neneh-cherry-ty-segall-best-coast-bobby-womack">Slaughterhouse</a></em> and fronting a tight quartet he calls the Ty Segall Band, he leaned heavily on the songs he wrote for that album with the new group, mixing indelible pop melodies and raucous clangor and stretching some tunes out into expansive but never really indulgent jams that amply justified his description of this music as &ldquo;evil space rock.&rdquo; Oh, and he also made the rare concession this weekend to the absurdity of the festival setting by leading a chant of &ldquo;Oi, oi, oi,&rdquo; followed by a kick-butt cover of AC/DC&rsquo;s immortal &ldquo;Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.&rdquo; Now <em>that&rsquo;s</em> rock&rsquo;n&rsquo; roll.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/real%20estate%201.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 300px; float: left; " title="Real Estate (Photo by Robert Loerzel)" />From that adrenaline rush, the tempo instantly shifted into nap time as New Jersey indie-rockers Real Estate that was perfectly lilting and I dare say even lovely at times. But is lovely what anyone really wants at 4:30 in the bright sun on the middle of a festival bill? The group essentially had one song and one tempo, yet the set went on&hellip; and on&hellip; and on&hellip; and on. Sure, the temperature was in the mid-&rsquo;90s. But my God, I&rsquo;d have killed for a cup of coffee.</p><p>Per the rest of the weekend, my plan had been to leave the secondary stage to my WBEZ colleagues and catch the reactivated Chavez on the main stage next, hopefully forgiving bandleader Matt Sweeney for his time in the ill-fated Zwan. But the Pitchfork-powers-that-be spread the word that Lady Gaga would be appearing with Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar on the smaller platform, so along with seemingly thousands of others, off in that direction I went.</p><p>For all the positive buzz on Lamar, and despite some admittedly impressive freestyle chops, his set was a tremendous disappointment that left no hip-hop cliché unturned. Left side/right side shout-outs, exhortations to chant &ldquo;f--- that&rdquo; and wave your hands in the air, a song paying homage to &ldquo;p---- and Patrón,&rdquo; countless mentions of weed and blasts from the air horn to hype everybody up&mdash;all of it simply was pathetic. But even worse was the fact that Gaga&mdash;and several in the know swear it <em>was </em>her (&ldquo;She&rsquo;s here! She&rsquo;s really here!&rdquo;)&mdash;did nothing but stand on the side of the stage, gently gyrating and enjoying being notice.</p><p>So much for giving one to the little monsters. Though I suppose we still can hope she&rsquo;ll sing &ldquo;Horchata&rdquo; with Vampire Weekend.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Gaga Kendrick.jpg" title="Kendrick and Gaga (Photo by daveisfree)" /></div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</div></p> Sun, 15 Jul 2012 18:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-07/pitchfork-day-3-ty-segall-real-estate-kendrick-lamar%E2%80%A6-and-sorta-lady 'Hooray for Captain Streeter!' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-06/hooray-captain-streeter-100498 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/00--1915 in court.jpg" style="float: left; width: 200px; height: 226px; " title="George Wellington Streeter (Library of Congress/Chicago Daily News)" />Though he didn&rsquo;t find his life&rsquo;s mission until he was 50 years old, George Wellington Streeter has achieved a kind of immortality: One of Chicago&rsquo;s swankiest neighborhoods carries his name, all because he originated a local version of the Occupy Movement.</p><p>Streeter was born in Michigan in 1837, one of 13 children. He had little formal education, and scuffled through different jobs &mdash; logger, miner, ice-cutter, carnival showman, mariner. In the summer of 1886 he got into a scheme to run guns to Honduras.</p><p>While trying out his little steamship in a Lake Michigan storm, Streeter ran up on a sandbar off Superior Street. He couldn&rsquo;t move, so he decided to stay there.</p><p>Everything east of Michigan Avenue was then a swamp. Streeter convinced local builders to dump their debris near his ship. Gradually the area filled in, and became land.&nbsp;</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/00--Streeter%20shack%201905.jpg" title="Streeter's shack, 1905 (Library of Congress/Chicago Daily News)" /></div><p>Meanwhile, Streeter discovered that his man-made land was beyond the boundaries of both Chicago and Illinois. As a Union captain in the Civil War, he had a right to a homestead. He announced he was establishing the independent District of Lake Michigan, with no authority above him except the U.S. government.</p><p>Streeter began selling lots to speculators. Squatters arrived, and built shacks in the district&rsquo;s 186 acres. Industrialist N.K. Fairbank, who claimed he owned the area, tried the evict Streeter. The Captain ran him off with a load of buckshot.</p><p>All through the 1890s and 1900s, there were sporadic attempts to remove Streeter and his supporters. The raids were usually conducted by private detectives working for real estate interests. Sometimes the police did the honors. When things quieted down, the occupiers would creep back.</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/00--1916.jpg" title="The Civil War vet tells stories to World War I recruits, 1917 (Library of Congress/Chicago Daily News)" /></div><p>The Captain himself had a keen eye for public relations. He portrayed himself as a little guy taking on the big-money fat cats. On that basis, whenever Streeter turned up in a news story, most Chicagoans sympathized with him. Besides, he was putting on a good show.</p><p>He had good lawyers, too. The various cases against Streeter dragged through the courts into the 1910s. Most of the delays were caused by jurisdictional issues.</p><p>Looking back from the safety of another century, the whole matter seems like harmless fun. It wasn&rsquo;t always. Over the years, an unknown number of people were killed. In 1902 Streeter himself was convicted in the death of an opposition slugger. He was pardoned after nine months in prison.</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/00--Wrecking%20buildings%201918.jpg" title="The end of Streeter's Occupy Movement, 1918 (Library of Congress/Chicago Daily News)" /></div><p>By 1918 Streeter&rsquo;s domain was reduced to a few blocks around a tar-paper &ldquo;castle&rdquo; when he was arrested for peddling liquor without a license. Shortly afterward, new warrants were obtained by Chicago Title and Trust Company. There was one more raid, and the Captain was again ousted from the lakeshore.</p><p>He never returned. Streeter spent the next few years operating a floating hot dog stand in East Chicago. When the old rogue died in 1921, the Mayor of Chicago attended the funeral. So did many of the real estate magnates Streeter had battled over the decades.</p><p>They probably came to make sure he was really dead.</p></p> Tue, 03 Jul 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-06/hooray-captain-streeter-100498 Nine bedrooms, full-size court: Michael Jordan's home for sale http://www.wbez.org/story/nine-bedrooms-full-size-court-michael-jordans-home-sale-96832 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-February/2012-02-29/AP110922145609.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Michael Jordan's longtime personal residence in suburban Chicago is for sale for $29 million.</p><p>The sprawling estate is in Highland Park, along Lake Michigan, and has more than 56,000 square feet of living space.</p><p>That includes nine bedrooms, 15 baths and five fireplaces.</p><p>There's also a three-bedroom guesthouse, pool area, outdoor tennis court and three climate-controlled multi-car garages.</p><p>An indoor basketball complex features a full-size regulation court with specially cushioned hardwood flooring and competition-quality high intensity lighting. It's also got a sound system set up to provide perfect acoustics within the court space.</p><p>The property was put on the market Wednesday by Katherine Chez-Malkin of Baird &amp; Warner Real Estate.</p></p> Wed, 29 Feb 2012 15:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/nine-bedrooms-full-size-court-michael-jordans-home-sale-96832