Thursday, March 23, 2017

Curbed Chicago: Plan to renovate Pullman’s historic 1880 factory building is moving forward

Plans are being made to turn the historic Pullman factory and clock tower - located at 111th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue - to become a visitor center. In addition there will be a interpretive center and HQ for National Park Service operations. This is an initiative of the National Park Service and Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Chatham: You are beautiful

Walking along 79th Street this past Saturday saw this on the side of a beauty salon right off the corner of 79th & Evans. Perhaps a project of the Chatham Development Corporation who you can also follow on Instagram.

Friday, March 17, 2017

My Block My Hood My City: Helping hands in Pill Hill

[VIDEO] We had our first serious snow of 2017 earlier this week. Jahmal Cole and his volunteers go to Pill Hill to help the senior citizens and retirees to shovel snow on their sidewalks.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Capitol Fax: CPS testifies against elected school board

For those of you who support an election Chicago Board of Education there's some news. And it appears officials (or even former officials) with Chicago Public Schools don't want this bill to pass in Springfield.

For example:
"I'm not here to make a generalization about elected versus appointed school boards and its impact in any school district," [CPS Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson] told a House panel. "But I am here to say that for Chicago Public Schools, we have been governed in a particular way — and that is being threatened. And I believe that there will be an impact on academic outcomes because of the lack of stability.
What are they scared of?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

SMG Chatham: Hosts 6 Weeks of Community Events to Celebrate Remodel

SMG Chatham in January 2016
Another press release from Studio Movie Grill Chatham. A series of events to celebrate the grand re-opening of our long-time local movie house which from 2012 onwards has gone through a couple of ownership changes. Now, it's featuring a brand new concept.

Monday, March 13, 2017

1970: 95/Dan Ryan CTA terminal

As of now the CTA terminal at 95th endures. It has undergone some changes over the years, a reconstruction in 2003-04, the shutdown & reconstruction of the Red Line south in 2013, and of course the expected overhaul expected to be completed in 2018. The ig post below from the CTA's ig profile shows a scene not too unfamiliar to today's transit riders who begin or compete their commutes at 95th street.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Re-entry education summit at Olive-Harvey College

Thursday, March 16, 2017
11:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Olive-Harvey College
10001 S. Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL

Refer to flyer below for more details on this event.

Friday, March 10, 2017

It appears Seaway Bank survives again....

Subject to regulatory approval the remains of Seaway Bank will go from the ownership of State Bank of Texas to Self-Help Federal Credit Union. The North Carolina based financial institution already has a presence in the Chicago market where it took over the assets of Second Federal Savings.

In any case the well known Seaway Bank name survives once again. Steve Daniels who wrote a number of stories on Seaway Bank had this to write today:
The owners of the Texas bank that acquired Seaway from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in late January now are selling Seaway's branches and deposits to a North Carolina-based credit union.

Greensboro, N.C.-based Self-Help Federal Credit Union, which specializes in lending to low-income and minority customers and already owns a Chicago lender focused on Hispanics, will take over Seaway's franchise beginning in May.

Dallas-based State Bank of Texas will continue to hold and manage Seaway's existing loans and will operate the foreign-exchange concessions at O'Hare and Midway airports.

With the deal, Self-Help, a nearly $2 billion-asset credit union with branches in California and Florida in addition to Chicago, could become an important provider of financing in South Side neighborhoods afflicted by joblessness, violence and population decline.

Self-Help also is clearly a better fit with the mission of what had been Chicago's largest black-owned bank for decades—provide credit in communities other banks avoid. State Bank of Texas is expert mainly in lending to hotel operators, often Indian-Americans as also is the family that owns the Texas bank. "It plays to everybody's strengths," said Sushil Patel, president of State Bank of Texas. "The result is a win for the community, Self-Help, the (National Credit Union Association) and State Bank of Texas."

Martin Eakes, who founded Self-Help more than three decades ago and remains its CEO, said he was intent on expanding into Chicago's South Side even before Seaway's failure. Once news of Seaway's demise hit, he reached out immediately to the Patel family, which owns State Bank of Texas.

The deal with State Bank of Texas is strikingly similar to the agreement that brought Self-Help to Chicago in 2013. Then, Rosemont-based Wintrust Financial, which had acquired the deposits of Chicago-based thrift Second Federal Savings after it failed, turned around a month or so later and agreed to sell the deposits to Self-Help.
Something tells me that when Seaway's business finally settles down it'll be back in the hands of Black-ownership. Yes I know wishful thinking, but at least for it's many depositors ownership who didn't seem like a good fit for the many communities Seaway serves has decided to move on from this market. They have the loans that Seaway once had and the airport foreign currency exchanges they'll have as long as the city will allow it.

If you want to read other posts about Seaway click here.

DNA Info: Woodlawn Hasn't Gentrified Despite $400 Million In Investments, Report Says

Woodlawn won the 2016 Curbed Cup. With that said DNA reports that the south side neighborhood to be the recipient of former President Obama's presidential library has yet to gentrify:
Woodlawn has seen more than $400 million in investment in the last five years. In some neighborhoods, that kind of money would have inevitably led to gentrification, forcing longtime residents from their homes.

But that's not the case, the largest developer in the neighborhood said in a new report about the investments.

Preservation of Affordable Housing, a national nonprofit which has sought to revitalize some of the nation's largest cities while keeping housing affordable, released a report Monday showing $400 million was invested in the neighborhood in 2011. That year, the group started redeveloping Grove Parc Plaza through a $30.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Bill Eager, vice president for the nonprofit’s Chicago branch, which is behind more than $100 million of that investment, said the neighborhood has improved greatly and is still a ways away from gentrification.

“There’s lots of room still for everyone,” Eager said. “There can be lots of development still in Woodlawn before gentrification becomes a problem.”

Local religious and political leaders agree the development has not led to displacement, at least not yet.
As you'll see in this article there are some construction projects going on in the intersection of 63rd & Cottage Grove.

Perhaps if there is a tipping point in this community perhaps someone can advocate for a reconstruction of the CTA Green Line to send that line back past Cottage Grove. Time will tell on that.

Chance The Rapper names CPS schools receiving $10K

In addition to $1 million he's donating to CPS school after his meeting with Gov. Bruce Rauner to discuss the schools, Chance the Rapper is also donating $10,000 to these schools.
  • Charles Carroll Elementary
  • Clemente High School
  • Fenger High School
  • Hirsch High School
  • Juarez High School
  • Mahalia Jackson Elementary
  • Nathan S. Davis Elementary
  • Orr High School
  • Robeson High School
  • Oliver S. Westcott Elementary
These donations are from Chance's Social Works Chicago non-profit. According to WGN:
"The one million dollars is not meant to cure the $215 million CPS funding shortfall, but to call attention to the political feud in Springfield and how it affects communities."

You're also encouraged to visit the Social Works website and make a donation in addition to Chance's donations.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Chicagoist is going to soon be under the DNA Info umbrella
The owners of Chicagoist - called appropriately Gothamist LLC - announced that they have been acquired by the Joe Ricketts owned DNA Info. Gothamist also has blogs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York (the home base) and DC. That means DNA Info would expand into new cities.

Over the years we have used articles from DNA Info. In some cases Worlee may have been quote in an article or a photograph posted to this blog was used in an article. And Chicagoist has linked to us once also.

And why did I mention Joe Ricketts, well as you see in the post via Gothamist, he's the owner of the 2016 world series champion Chicago Cubs.

Studio Movie Grill launches remodeled Chatham theater

Early concept of SMG Chatham
The concept you see above have come slowly, but has finally become reality according to this press release from Studio Movie Grill regarding our local movie house. And also this ig post we shared around Oscar time.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Celebrating Josephine "Mother" Wade

Location: 436 E 79th St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
Josephine "Mother" Wade , owner of Josephine's Cooking (formerly known as Captain's Hard Time Dining), at 436 E. 79th Street,  has had a very good week.

This weekend, she was honored with a stretch of 79th street named after her, in an honorary street sign. The event was attended by several community leaders and politicians.

She was also featured in  the most recent issue of the African American Tribune (on the cover and a story; the issue is available in many places, such as churches).

From the Inspiration 1390 AM Facebook page -
Today she was on the morning show on Inspiration 1390 AM with Sonya Blakey. She talked about her history with the neighborhorhood, community involvement. She also noted that she actually wanted to keep the name Captain's Hard Time Dining. Her son, in consultation with others, thought it would be better branding to not have "negativity" (i.e. "Hard time") in the name, though she noted that the name change threw a lot of people off. She also shared th emany connections she has in our city and community.

  I (JP Paulus) even called in, and with a short description was able to identify me. (I am not sure if that aired...I called around 8:45 am but didn't hear it in the next hour). She definitely has the gift of connection.

Sonia posted a Facebook live conversation at

Mother Wade was in the restaurant shortly after her appearance on 1390AM, and might still be there if you stop by today to wish her Happy Birthday!

Congratulations Mother Wade!

Gold Coast neighborhood concerned about rising crime

If only the community organizations of the south side had the resources presumably that the Gold Coast Neighbors Association has. What we see here are snippets of e-mails from that CBO expressing concern about a series of violent crimes in that near north side - or actually near downtown Chicago - community.
The man behind Newsalert shared these screencaps with the quote: "No word yet on when the wealthy progressives will suggest 'packing heat' in Chicago."

That's certainly one angle to approach with this, however such a hoi-polloi neighborhood near downtown Chicago, the city surely will take care of such a community. In the meanwhile, the other communities that have serious issues with crime don't have as much to unify and combat these issues.