WBEZ | Uptown http://www.wbez.org/tags/uptown Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: Physicians say U.S. ERs don't make the grade http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-01-24/morning-shift-physicians-say-us-ers-dont-make-grade <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/cover Flickr jeffdenapoli.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We look at the state of emergency rooms in Illinois. Chicago magazine&#39;s Dennis Rodkin guides us through a battle over an historic home. And, we&#39;re joined by legendary Motown arranger Lamont Dozier.</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-physicians-say-u-s-emergency-rooms-d/embed?header=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-physicians-say-u-s-emergency-rooms-d.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-physicians-say-u-s-emergency-rooms-d" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Physicians say U.S. ERs don't make the grade" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 24 Jan 2014 08:35:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-01-24/morning-shift-physicians-say-us-ers-dont-make-grade Looking back at Uptown in the mid-1970s http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/looking-back-uptown-mid-1970s-108429 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Storyteller.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In 1973, <a href="http://bobrehak.com/wordpress/">Bob Rehak</a> was 24-years-old, living in Rogers Park and working downtown at an advertsing agency. His daily commute took him through Uptown, a gritty, struggling neighborhood on Chicago&#39;s North Side.&nbsp;</p><p>An introvert working to break out of his shell, Rehak gave himself a challenge: Get off the Red Line &#39;L&#39; train at Wilson Avenue, walk up to the first person he saw, and ask if he could take their picture. It worked.</p><p>&quot;Much to my suprise, what I found was people were extremely friendly,&quot; he said. &quot;They didn&#39;t beat me over the head and steal my Nikon as I&#39;d feared. I think they were flattered that somebody was there paying attention.&quot;</p><p>From there, he was hooked. Rehak&nbsp;<a href="http://bobrehak.com/wordpress/portfolio-2/documentary/">documented Uptown and its residents</a> for the next four years, developing nearly 5,000 black and white photographs. In the end, he created a portrait of one of the most dense and most diverse neighborhoods in Chicago history.</p><p>Until recently, those images have been largely forgotten. But when the photographer uploaded them online in July, they went viral, reaching 4.5 million page views in a just a few months. Rehak said more than 500 people have contacted him about the photos, some of whom appear in the very shots he took forty years ago.&nbsp;</p><p>Now remastered as a book, titled &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Uptown-Portrait-Chicago-Neighborhood-mid-1970s/dp/098527333X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1380640293&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=uptown+rehak">Uptown: Portrait of a Chicago Neighborhood in the Mid-1970s</a>,&quot; the collection is now available in stores.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Use the sliding tool to see Uptown then and now<a name="slider">:</a></strong><br /><br /><iframe frameborder="0" height="610" scrolling="no" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/INTERACTIVE+DATA+PUBLISHING/2013+Projects/August/UptownBeforeAfter/BeforeAfterWilson.html" width="620"></iframe></p><p>Rehak took this photo of Wilson Avenue, looking east toward Sheridan Road on the &#39;L&#39; platform. In the background is the Sheridan Plaza Hotel, which sat vacant for many years before it was renovated and turned into apartments in 2009.</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="440" scrolling="no" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/INTERACTIVE+DATA+PUBLISHING/2013+Projects/August/UptownBeforeAfter/BeforeAfterLawrence.html" width="620"></iframe></p><p>Rehak took this shot at Lawrence Avenue and Broadway on Dec. 27, 1975. The Riviera Theater was playing &quot;Snow White&quot; and Lawray Drugs was advertising Bufferin for $1.09. Today, a Starbucks and abandoned Borders dominate the view. (Photo cropped for comparison.)</p><p><em>Alyssa Edes is a digital media intern at WBEZ. Follow her on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/alyssaedes" target="_blank">@alyssaedes</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Tue, 03 Dec 2013 15:03:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/looking-back-uptown-mid-1970s-108429 5 shot near Chicago church http://www.wbez.org/news/5-shot-near-chicago-church-108462 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/6662255425_6cef8ea410_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Police say five people were wounded during a shooting outside a church on the city&#39;s North Side.</p><p>Authorities initially said one person died in Monday&#39;s violence. But Tuesday, a police spokesman said a 21-year-old man was instead critically wounded after being shot in the head in the Uptown neighborhood.</p><p>Four other men were hospitalized for gunshot wounds and were in either stable or good condition. Police say the shooting may have been gang related.</p><p>Witnesses say they heard about 20 shots, which they initially thought were fireworks. Then at least one of the victims stumbled to the stairs of Uptown Baptist Church, where volunteers were serving dinner to the area&#39;s homeless people.</p><p>The shooting follows a violent weekend that saw at least six people killed and another 27 wounded.</p></p> Tue, 20 Aug 2013 11:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/5-shot-near-chicago-church-108462 Judge orders Chicago’s Chateau Hotel vacated http://www.wbez.org/news/judge-orders-chicago%E2%80%99s-chateau-hotel-vacated-107698 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Chateau Hotel.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A judge has ordered that the three remaining tenants of a single-room occupancy building on Chicago&rsquo;s Far North Side leave by midnight next Friday.</p><p>The Chateau Hotel was the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/chateau-hotel-residents-avoid-immediate-order-vacate-105922" target="_blank">center of a long battle</a> between tenants who believed they were falling victim to gentrification pressures in the city&rsquo;s Uptown neighborhood, and a new property owner who has acquired several similar buildings in three North Side wards. With this order, BJB Properties, which acquired the building early this year, will be free to tear down the building&rsquo;s 138 units, and rebuild them into pricier rental units.</p><p>&ldquo;When we lose a big building like that in Uptown, it affects the segregation of the overall city,&rdquo; said Alan Mills, attorney at the Uptown People&rsquo;s Law Center. Mills represented two of the tenants who still live in the building in their eviction proceedings. He said his clients both opted to accept financial settlements with BJB Properties when it became clear that Judge William Pileggi would likely issue the order to vacate.</p><p>&ldquo;There is very little housing in the city of Chicago that is both affordable to someone who is for example on SSI, meaning that they make something like $700 a month, and is located in an integrated neighborhood,&rdquo; said Mills. &ldquo;The vast majority of that housing is in Uptown.&rdquo;</p><p>Uptown still has the city&rsquo;s highest concentration of SRO buildings in Chicago, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/slow-disappearing-act-chicago-sro-105836" target="_blank">but in recent years it has been shrinking</a>. Many of these old buildings have deteriorated from neglect, while the surrounding neighborhoods, close to the lake, have grown in value. Many have become embroiled in costly proceedings in the city&rsquo;s buildings court, a situation that has made them ripe for purchase by outside real estate companies who are keen to offload the troubled properties for relatively low prices, and turn them into upmarket housing.</p><p>&ldquo;A lot of the people who were living in the Chateau had issues with their credit,&rdquo; said Mary Tarullo, a community organizer with the Lakeview Action Coalition, which helped mobilize tenants against the eviction. &ldquo;An SRO is ... one of the very few places you can go where that&rsquo;s not an issue.&rdquo;</p><p>Tarullo said city partners, such as Catholic Charities, did what they could to help tenants of the Chateau Hotel find alternative homes. But she said their difficult backgrounds and the dwindling pool of SRO units in the city left some tenants hamstrung.</p><p>&ldquo;We know that a lot of those folks have moved to the South and West Sides. We&rsquo;ve heard of other people who&rsquo;ve gone to homeless shelters,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;We know a few people that ... were actually able to find some units at other SROs. And then others are doubling up with friends.&rdquo;</p><p>Tarullo said, however, that her organization has successfully met with BJB Properties owner James Purcell, Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) and James Cappleman (46th), and several housing providers in Chicago, to discuss rental subsidies in some of the buildings that are being converted. She said they are discussing how to include subsidized housing units in five of Purcell&rsquo;s buildings on the North Side.</p><p>Purcell&rsquo;s company and attorney did not return phone calls.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her at <a href="http://twitter.com/oyousef" target="_blank">@oyousef</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 14 Jun 2013 07:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/judge-orders-chicago%E2%80%99s-chateau-hotel-vacated-107698 Decision on future of Hull House Theater could come at end of June http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/decision-future-hull-house-theater-could-come-end-june-107661 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Hull House_130612_kk.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A decision on the future of The Hull House Theater in Uptown could come at the end of the month.</p><p>Owner Dave Gassman, who bought the building last month, requested a zoning change that would allow the historic theater to be converted to a two-story apartment complex.</p><p>The change was scheduled for a vote in a city council committee meeting Tuesday.</p><p>Members of the committee led by Ald. Danny Solis (25th) pushed the vote to the end of the month after hearing testimony from the Consortium to Save Hull House Theater.</p><p>Ald. James Cappleman (46th), whose ward includes Uptown, says there is a proper community process to approving zoning changes. He scolded members of the group for their lack of involvement in that process.</p><p>He told them their efforts were &ldquo;a day late and dollar short.&rdquo;</p><p>Nick Rabkin is part of the consortium made up of representatives from Preservation Chicago, local businesses, theater groups and artists with Chicago ties. He says he commends Cappleman for his process but wasn&rsquo;t aware of it.</p><p>&ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t hear about his process and in fact, Ilesa Duncan, who is the executive artistic director of the theater in the building, didn&rsquo;t know about his process either,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>The theater, opened in 1966, is considered by some to be a Chicago landmark.</p><p>But it shouldn&rsquo;t be saved for its historic significance alone, said Deb Clapp, executive director of the League of Chicago Theaters and Uptown resident.</p><p>&ldquo;The theater is one of the things that makes living in the 46th ward really pleasant and vibrant and important,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Members of the consortium have started an online petition and are counting on an application for landmark status to go through.</p><p>But Cappleman says they need to present a financial plan for the space and show an effort to work something out with the new owner by the next Committee on Zoning, Landmark, and Building Standards meeting on June 25.</p><p><em>Katie Kather is an arts &amp; culture reporting intern at WBEZ. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/ktkather" target="_blank">@ktkather</a>.</em></p><p>Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Hull House Theater could close at the end of the month. Theater officials have confirmed that they have a lease through November.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 12 Jun 2013 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/decision-future-hull-house-theater-could-come-end-june-107661 Uptown, past and present http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-05/uptown-past-and-present-107115 <p><p>Uptown. The name seems more generic than natural.&nbsp;And the district the city calls Community Area #3 did start out as a series of separate communities.</p><p>During the 1850s, two rival railroads&ndash;the Milwaukee Road and the Chicago &amp; North Western&ndash;built parallel lines north from Chicago.&nbsp;Where the railroads opened stations, settlement sprang up.&nbsp;Buena Park was about five miles north of Madison Street.&nbsp;Moving further north, there was Sheridan Park, then Edgewater.&nbsp;All three were annexed by Chicago in 1889.</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/Uptown1--Broadway-Wilson.JPG" title="Welcome to Uptown!" /></div><div><p>In 1900 the first North Side &lsquo;L&rsquo; line pushed through&nbsp;the&nbsp;area to a terminal at Wilson Avenue. Rapid growth followed.&nbsp;The three distinct communities lost their separate identities and blended together.&nbsp;By the 1920s the whole area was referred to as Uptown.&nbsp;</p></div><p>Why &ldquo;Uptown?&rdquo;&nbsp;If you think about it, that was pretty savvy marketing.&nbsp;The name tried to put the community on the same level as Downtown, aka the Loop.&nbsp;The main local business street also adopted a more cosmopolitan identity: Evanston Avenue became Broadway.</p><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/Map.jpg" title="" /></div></div><p>In New York, Midtown was outpacing the city&rsquo;s older business areas. The same thing could happen in Chicago.&nbsp;Uptown boosters predicted that one day the Broadway Limited would locate its Chicago terminal at Wilson Avenue.</p><p>It seemed possible in the 1920s.&nbsp;Department stores, banks, hotels, and every manner of business were moving in.&nbsp;You could find or do almost anything&nbsp;in Uptown.&nbsp;Even Al Capone was investing in local real estate.</p><p>People from all over Chicago came to Uptown for entertainment.&nbsp;The action centered around the intersection of Broadway and Lawrence. Major movie palaces included the Riviera and the 4,000-seat Uptown, the city&rsquo;s largest.&nbsp;For dancing, there was the Aragon ballroom. The Green Mill was the place to go for hot jazz, and over on Clark Street, the Rainbo Gardens complex offered assorted cabaret shows.</p><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/Uptown3--Dover%20Street_0.JPG" title="Victorian homes in Sheridan Park" /></div></div><p>After a&nbsp;busy Saturday night, there were churches available.&nbsp;All Saints Episcopal and St. Mary of the Lake Catholic were architectural treasures.&nbsp;The biggest congregation gathered at the People&rsquo;s Church, where flamboyant Unitarian pastor Preston Bradley held forth.&nbsp;Summer Sundays might also include a visit to Lake Michigan for fishing off the Horseshoe or swimming at Montrose Beach.</p><p>And when you died, you could still find what you needed in Uptown.&nbsp;Graceland Cemetery, the city&rsquo;s most fashionable burying ground, was located in the community.</p><p>The Crash of 1929 and the Depression hit Uptown particularly hard.&nbsp;Businesses died and money left.&nbsp;Large apartments were carved into rooming houses.&nbsp;Poorer people moved in.&nbsp;The newcomers included African-Americans, American Indians and Appalachian whites.</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/Uptown4--The%20Horseshoe.jpg" title="Montrose Beach Horseshoe" /></div><p>By 1970 portions of Wilson Avenue had become a skid row.&nbsp;The crime rate soared and &lsquo;L&rsquo; commuters were warned not to change trains at Uptown stations.&nbsp;About this time residents north of Foster seceded from Uptown, gaining official recognition as Community Area #77, Edgewater.</p><p>Some sections of Uptown remained intact.&nbsp;These were mostly on the outer edges, near the Chicago &amp; North Western tracks or along Marine Drive. Two blocks of Hutchinson Street were designated an architectural landmark district.&nbsp;The construction of Truman College helped stabilize the central area.</p><p>During the 1980s nearby Wrigleyville and Boys&rsquo; Town began attracting yuppies, and it seemed likely Uptown would follow this path. That brought protests from various community groups. They claimed that Urban Renewal simply meant Poor Removal. Three decades later, gentrification continues to be a hot-button local issue.</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/Uptown5--Argyle%20Street.jpg" title="Argyle Street, aka Chinatown North" /></div><p>Today Uptown is home to 56,000 people. One of Chicago&rsquo;s more diverse communities, the population is identified as 52 percent white, 20 percent black, 14 percent Hispanic, 11 percent Asian.</p><p>Uptown endures. The Green Mill and the Aragon remain in business.&nbsp;Along Argyle Street, Asian restaurants are thriving. The boarded-up Uptown Theatre still stands, awaiting a financial angel with deep pockets.&nbsp;New apartments and commercial development have replaced the old &lsquo;L&rsquo; yards&nbsp;on Broadway.</p><p>Uptown endures.</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/Uptown6--New%20Construction.JPG" title="New development at Broadway and Montrose" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Mon, 13 May 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-05/uptown-past-and-present-107115 Uptown man raised alarm on viaduct evictions before death http://www.wbez.org/news/uptown-man-raised-alarm-viaduct-evictions-death-106287 <p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/homeless1.jpg" style="height: 167px; width: 250px; margin: 5px; float: left;" title="Jack King slept under the viaduct at Wilson Avenue in Uptown. Before he died, he told WBEZ that city officials targeted him and other homeless there with arbitrary evictions. (WBEZ/Odette Yousef)" />Just a few weeks ago, Chicago&rsquo;s Uptown neighborhood lit up with debate over whether it should maintain services for the homeless as it has for several decades. In particular, 46th Ward Ald. James Cappleman and the Salvation Army disagreed over whether the charity organization should continue distributing free meals every day from its mobile food unit at Wilson Avenue and Marine Drive. The two sides say they have since patched over their differences.</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/voices-salvation-army-food-truck-clients-uptown-debate-105945">WBEZ interviewed some clients of the food truck</a> while the issue was hot. One of them was &ldquo;Jack,&rdquo; who declined to share his last name but said he slept under the Wilson Avenue viaduct. &ldquo;Not everybody has jobs out here, so it does help. It helps a lot,&rdquo; Jack said, adding that he appeared at the truck almost every day.</p><p dir="ltr">Well, in a piece that ran over the weekend in the Sun-Times, columnist Mark Brown focused on <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/brown/19042742-452/homeless-evicted-from-viaduct.html">arbitrary evictions of the homeless </a>who sleep under the Wilson Ave viaduct. In it, Brown mentions the death of one of those men, a Jack King, who had left the viaduct some days earlier because of the street sweeps. King was found dead March 13 outside a health clinic on Wilson Avenue.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/homeless2.jpg" style="margin: 5px; float: right; height: 188px; width: 250px;" title="King was one of many homeless who slept under the viaduct at Wilson Avenue and Lake Shore Drive. He said police took his belongings when they evicted him and others. (WBEZ/Odette Yousef)" /></p><p dir="ltr">WBEZ has confirmed that this is the same &ldquo;Jack&rdquo; we interviewed just six days before his death. During that interview, which we include here without edits, King vented frustration at treatment he said he received at the hands of police for staying under the viaduct. &ldquo;They took my blankets, rugs I had laid out,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Maybe they get brownie points for that, I don&rsquo;t know.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">King said he felt the hostilities began once Cappleman came to office. &ldquo;He don&rsquo;t particularly care too much about us,&rdquo; Jack said. &ldquo;He&rsquo;s trying to kick people out of here and there, and you can only chase a person that has nowhere to go so far. There&rsquo;s got to be something, you know?&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">In an emailed response to WBEZ about King&rsquo;s assertion that the evictions heated up under Cappleman&rsquo;s watch, Cappleman wrote:</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Since taking office, I&#39;ve encouraged the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) to check on the individuals living under the viaduct and in the parks on a regular basis. I&#39;ve organized regular outreach missions where staff from my office and the 48th ward office, DFSS, and I walk through the park together in the early morning to talk to these individuals to see if we could encourage them to come indoors and take advantage of the programs and services the shelters provide. We&#39;ve successfully found housing and employment for quite a few of these folks. The gentleman who died is sadly probably not the only person we&#39;ve lost from problems with drinking and other drugs. If this gentleman had taken advantage of the programs and services available to him he may still be here today. He&#39;s the reason why I encourage DFSS to continue to check on these individuals. Everyone deserves a warm bed a safe place to live.&quot;</p></blockquote><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Homeless3.jpg" style="margin: 5px; height: 188px; width: 250px; float: left;" title="Permanent signs at the Wilson Ave. viaduct give notice that the city regularly cleans the area. In particular, Streets and Sanitation employees will discard furniture that homeless may set up there. (WBEZ/Odette Yousef)" />King told WBEZ that he didn&rsquo;t receive meals from other agencies in the Uptown area because many of them required enrollment in a full-service program to help the homeless. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a lot of circumstances I don&rsquo;t want to go into, [but] some people don&rsquo;t qualify,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I happen to be one of them.&rdquo; One of King&rsquo;s friends who sleeps under the viaduct, Gregory Guest, told WBEZ that King had an alcohol addiction.</p><p dir="ltr">According to the Cook County Medical Examiner&rsquo;s Office, King was discovered outside a health clinic at 855 W. Wilson Ave., not far from the viaduct. His cause of death was hypertension and arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her at <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a>.</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Tue, 26 Mar 2013 10:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/uptown-man-raised-alarm-viaduct-evictions-death-106287 Bill Millholland: Uptown's bread man http://www.wbez.org/series/kitchen-close-ups/bill-millholland-uptowns-bread-man-102826 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/KCU_04_BMillholland_large.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="407" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/50607379" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="610"></iframe></p><p style="text-align: left; "><em style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; "><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/kitchen-close-ups" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 14px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150); outline: 0px; ">Kitchen Close-ups</a>&nbsp;offers an intimate introduction to characters in Chicago&rsquo;s food and dining scene. The series runs weekly at wbez.org.</em></p></p> Wed, 03 Oct 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/kitchen-close-ups/bill-millholland-uptowns-bread-man-102826 Carl Sandburg in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-05/carl-sandburg-chicago-99336 <p><p><em>Hog Butcher for the World,</em></p><p><em>Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,</em></p><p><em>Player with Railroads and the Nation&rsquo;s Freight Handler;</em></p><p><em>Stormy, husky, brawling,</em></p><p><em>City of the Big Shoulders . . .</em></p><p>There was a time when every child in Chicago learned those words. They are the opening lines of Carl Sandburg&rsquo;s poem &ldquo;Chicago.&rdquo; The house where he wrote them still stands at 4646 North Hermitage Avenue.</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/05-23--Sandburg%20Home.jpg" title="Chicago History Happened Here: 4646 N. Hermitage Ave." /></div><p>Sandburg was born in Galesburg, Ill. in 1878, the son of Swedish immigrants. As a young man, he drifted through a series of jobs&ndash;milkman, bricklayer, fireman, soldier, hobo, political organizer for the Social Democratic Party. Then he got married.</p><p>Time for stability. Sandburg moved to Chicago and became a reporter. He landed a job with the <em>Daily News</em>. He&rsquo;d been writing poetry for years, with little success. That began to change.</p><p>His collection <em>Chicago Poems</em> appeared in 1916. Another anthology followed, then a series of children&rsquo;s books. Sandburg was gaining a reputation. His publisher suggested he write a Lincoln biography for young people.</p><p>Sandburg did the research, and more research. In 1926 he emerged with <em>Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years</em>. The children&rsquo;s book had morphed into an adult book in two volumes.</p><p>The Lincoln book was a best-seller and ended Sandburg&rsquo;s financial worries. It also made him a literary lion. For the rest of his long life, he was as famous for being Carl Sandburg as for anything he wrote.</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/05-23--Sandburg.jpg" style="float: left; height: 374px; width: 300px;" title="Carl Sandburg in 1955 (Library of Congress)" /></div><p>He moved to Michigan in 1930, and eventually settled in the hill country of North Carolina. The Lincoln biography grew to a total of six volumes, with the publication of <em>Abraham Lincoln: The War Years</em>. He won three Pulitzer prizes, two for poetry and one for the Lincoln books. In 1959 he even won a Grammy for his narration of Copeland&rsquo;s &ldquo;Lincoln Portrait.&rdquo;</p><p>The house on Hermitage was built in 1880 by attorney Samuel B. Gookins. Sandburg rented the second floor apartment from 1911 through 1914. He later lived in Maywood and in Elmhurst. The Carl Sandburg Home is an official Chicago Landmark. It is privately owned.</p><p>Though he lived elsewhere after 1930, Sandburg remained one of Chicago&rsquo;s favorite sons. In 1960 the city embarked on an urban renewal project in the Clark-Division area. The idea was to stabilize the west end of the Gold Coast with a series of high-rise apartments. They called the new buildings Sandburg Village.</p><p>Sandburg himself kept Chicago in his heart. He often returned to the city that made him famous. He appeared regularly on Irv Kupcinet&rsquo;s TV round-table. When Orland Park named a high school in his honor, Sandburg came to the dedication and had a grand time, telling stories and singing ballads.</p><p>He had been a workingman. He always cultivated the image of the people&rsquo;s poet, with rumpled clothing and unkempt hair. A few years after the dedication, he decided to revisit &ldquo;his&rdquo; high school. By then a different principal was in charge. The new man thought Sandburg was a panhandler and threw him out.</p><p>Carl Sandburg died in 1967. Some years earlier he had summed up his philosophy this way: &ldquo;What I need mainly is three things in life, possibly four&ndash;to be out of jail, to eat regular, to get what I write printed, and then a little love at home and a little outside.&rdquo;</p></p> Wed, 23 May 2012 07:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-05/carl-sandburg-chicago-99336 There in Chicago (#4) http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2012-03-16/there-chicago-4-97062 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-15/chicago present 4.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-07/02--Broadway%20%40%20Sheridan--view%20north.JPG" style="width: 495px; height: 330px;" title="Broadway @ Sheridan-Montrose (view north)"></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-07/02--1952%20%28Frank%29.jpg" title="1952 (Frank photo/author's collection)" height="330" width="495"></p><p>How well did you find your way around the Chicago of 1952?</p><p>The location is one of three places where Broadway and Sheridan Road intersect. The famous Bowlium bowling alley has been replaced by a high-rise apartment. So have the smaller buildings on the left. But the building in the center rear remains--and after 60 years, someone has finally rented the billboard.</p></p> Fri, 16 Mar 2012 12:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2012-03-16/there-chicago-4-97062