Friday, September 22, 2017

Who has heard of the CTA Normal Park branch?

This is the last station on the former Normal Park branch located at 69th/Parnell.  The Normal Park L was closed and demolished in 1954. Almost 1/2 mile east of this location is the current CTA Red Line station at 69th/State.
Today marks the 110th anniversary of the opening of the former Normal Park branch of the South Side 'L'. This photo shows the terminal at 69th with its Greek Revival-style stationhouse with Doric columns and a streetcar in service on the 67th-69th-71st line (predecessor to today's Rt. 67 67th-69th-71st). This part of the 'L' was actually a branch of a branch--it started just west of the Harvard station on the Englewood Branch of the South Side 'L' (now known as the Ashland branch of the Green Line), and continued on south to 69th/Normal. An important destination served by this former branch was the Chicago Normal School (later the Chicago Teachers' College, Chicago State College and now Chicago State University), which was located near the end of the line. (It's since moved to 95th/King Drive, a few blocks east of the end of the Red Line.) This humble branch had just three stops--65th, 67th (Marquette Rd) and 69th. Trains on the line through most of its life would be little one- or two-car trains which would meet with trains from the Englewood branch's former Loomis terminal west of the Harvard station and couple together to continue on to the Loop and back or through to the North Side ('L' routings to/through downtown have varied greatly over the years). Today, you can catch the 'L' near where this branch once ran via Red Line stops just a bit east at 63rd or 69th, or the Green Line a few blocks west at Halsted. #cta #cta70 #ctahistory #ctaredline #ctagreenline #englewood #trains #transit #trolley #streetcars #publictransit #publictransport #railways #chicago #chicagohistory
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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tiny houses for the homeless

Perhaps an idea whose time has come and the city council is talking about it:
The City Council held a hearing about tiny houses after powerful Southwest Side Ald. Edward Burke, 14th, introduced a resolution for the city to consider them. The homes measure about 160 square feet, and builders say they can be completed in less than two weeks.

Catholic Charities would like to put up seven tiny homes for homeless veterans on a couple of lots near 78th Street and Emerald Avenue in the Gresham neighborhood, said Eileen Higgins, a vice president for the organization.

The houses would be put up near an existing Catholic Charities campus with services for veterans. Higgins said building tiny houses is less expensive in most cases than renovating an existing house, and she added that veterans often prefer a much smaller place to live without the upkeep of bigger residences.

So far the development is just a proposal, and Higgins said the organization is looking into zoning issues at the site.

Anthony Simpkins, of the city planning department, said the city is also in the preliminary stages of considering whether it should build lots of little houses to increase affordable housing around Chicago.

"Can it be publicly financed? Should it be publicly financed?" Simpkins said. "Is it on city land? Is it not? What are the design elements? Are there wraparound services involved? We're sort of looking at all that stuff right now."
Now if you want to see what these tiny houses could involved, check out the video below by Reason. This was more done by an individual instead of the city and unfortunately there was some controversy that included taking away the houses because they were in city streets & sidewalks. I'm glad the city is looking into this and better still will place these houses in lots instead of on city streets and sidewalks. [VIDEO]

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tomorrow is the last day for the #SeawayBank farmer's market

Division of Self-Help FCU
It was started back up early last month and on Wednesday that's it for the year! Here's hoping they return with fresh produce for local residents next year!

Capitol Fax: Decline of Black Chicago

Well actually I added the title, a recurring theme on this blog as of late.

Either way Rich Miller discusses this on his blog yesterday. It's been in the news that that latino population of Chicago has overtaken the population of Blacks. It's already been documented that over the past decaded Blacks have been leaving Chicago. Blacks are either heading to the suburbs or they're leaving the state entirely.

What say you on this?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Blogmaster updates

Yesterday I finally was able to correct issues with our domain which at one point was through BlueHost and they are better for doing more than as a registrar for domains. BlueHost is more for websites and web storage than it might be for any domains.

Besides The Sixth Ward blog is a website or a blog that seeks a registrar for a domain. So as a result of the episode of the past few days where the blog was redirected to its original url http://thesixthward.blogspot.com it was necessary to change registrars to that of GoDaddy. It seems fairly common for websites to utilize that service.

As a result of this change, guess what? Now the comments widget is back. How long has it been since we saw the latest comments in the sidebar to the right on this blog?
 This blog has always been about dialogue - especially since we respect and observe the 1st amendment. Regardless always bear in mind we do have a moderation policy. We DO NOT discourage anoymous comments although we will ask you to give yourself a handle or name so that we can easily identify you if we choose to reply. Of course always be respectful and refrain from using any profanity!

Again apologies for any inconvenience these changes may have caused. And now you can always visit this blog at www.sixthward.us.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Had a brief interuption with sixthward.us domain

With the domain at http://www.sixthward.us. Well the domain is back up and running. As always of course you can always access this blog via http://www.thesixthward.us or http://thesixthward.blogspot.com. Those addresses will redirect you to sixthward.us.

Sorry about any inconvenience the domain disruption may have been as I - the "blogmaster" at The Sixth Ward blog - attempted to settle this issue.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Another historic CTA photo in Englewood

Another missed post from the CTA instagram from back in July the former Englewood branch station at 63rd/Loomis. This station was closed in 1969 after the opening of the current terminal of the CTA Green Line at 63rd/Ashland.

BTW, if you want to know more about the history of Chicago L-trains feel free to visit Chicago-L.org with more information on the operations of Chicago's rapid transit network.
The Englewood Branch, in its early years, had been built out to Loomis/63rd and ended there for much of it's life (before being extended to Ashland/63rd in 1969, now part of the Green Line). As you can see in this south-facing view from just north of 63rd Street, the tracks ended unceremoniously over the street. The location was a busy interchange for Englewood residents (as the Ashland/63rd terminal is today). An 'L' train is visible in the terminal and a "Blue Goose" streetcar is in the foreground. The paint scheme on this particular car is atypical for these cars, as it's one of several that received experimental livery modifications for better visibility on the road. #cta #ctahistory #chicago #chicagohistory #ctaredline #ctagreenline #englewood #westenglewood #transit #publictransit #rapidtransit #streetcars #elevatedtrains #trains #railway #railroad #1940s
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Thursday, September 14, 2017

#SeawayBank failure was self-inflicted

Now owned by Self-Help FCU

Steve Daniels is back discussing further what happened with the former Seaway National Bank. Perhaps nothing new is to be found in a recent FDIC report on Seaway's failure, however, this article brings to light some things that were interesting.

To start I did a post where I gave four bullet point reasons why Seaway died. This article shed some light on some unexplained issues such as for example the shuffle in the "c-suite" why Seaway couldn't attract any executives who could handle the bank's pressing problems.
In 2014, she fired long-time CEO Walter Grady. But the new CEO, Darrell Jackson, formerly of Northern Trust, didn't work out either. He was fired in the fall of 2015 after Dickens and the board decided he didn't have the experience to fix things, the report said. After that, Dickens herself served as interim CEO. "Seaway's board and management were largely ineffective from 2013 through its failure," the report stated.

In much of that period, high-priced consultants ran much of the day-to-day operations. The costs sent Seaway's overhead skyrocketing, ultimately hitting 11 percent of assets in 2016, the report said. Peer banks' overhead costs average 2.8 percent.

In a statement to Crain's, Veranda Dickens wrote: "Seaway Bank's board ... replaced the entire management team that caused the vast majority of problems that eventually led to the failure of the bank. ... The management team did the best we could to continue operating so we could serve our community under trying and difficult circumstances."
Also mentioned on this blog recently:
It also was unable to attract qualified executives. That led to a decision in November 2015, a little over a year before Seaway failed, to bid on $65 million of South Side mortgages offered by Urban Partnership Bank. Bizarrely, Seaway submitted the bid before informing regulators, even though the bank was under a regulatory consent order, according to the report. "Upon learning of the transaction, (regulators) informed Seaway that it may not have had sufficient capital to execute the deal," the report said.

As it turned out, Seaway pulled the plug anyway over a dispute with UPB, but it had made a $6.5 million deposit that UPB held until Seaway's failure. That deposit now is the subject of litigation between UPB and the FDIC.
As I've already seen in various reports regarding this unfortunate and shocking failure it was a combination of issues that forced regulators to shut Seaway down. It was some missteps as far as managing the portfolios of two failed banks, the changing of the guard as far as ownership - i.e. Jacoby Dickens and then his wife Veranda, then the executive management shuffle, then a mention of the board of directors, and then those consultants. With all the changes, Seaway was bleeding and no one can stop it.

As a result Seaway which had been independently owned for 52 years is now a subsidiary of Self-Help FCU.

BTW, attached to the article is the FDIC report that Mr. Daniels used to write his article. Give it a look if you're so inclined. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Capitol Fax: Maze Jackson forms new PAC #WIIFTBP

Maze Jackson you might have heard from WVON radio. He's starting a new political action committee read the info over at the Capitol Fax. CapFax also shares a fb post showing a cookout at the Dan Ryan Woods 87th & Western on Sunday. Check them out and lets us know how it went.
EDIT 12:14 PM - BTW, just noticed in the comments they're mentioning Kari Steele who's currently a commissioner on the Chicago Water Reclamation District.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

From inside the now Amazon owned Whole Foods Market Englewood #teamwfm

You may find this shot posted to ig on Friday via Bruce Montgomery. Very nice shot that's worth sharing on this blog.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Update on the planning for CTA Red Line extension

CTA Red Line extension
Recently got an update with regards to where the Chicago Transit Authority is currently with the planned Red Line extension south from 95th Street to 130th St. near Altgeld Gardens. You can read a two sheet update here from their official website.

With this in mind there are two videos with regards to the extension which in my opinion is beneficial to the far south side of Chicago. However, what I strive to do on this blog is to be fair and the first video is a local homeowner who is opposed to the Red Line extension because it's construction means the destruction of homes as far as whatever alignment the CTA will choose.

This first video is courtesy of The Chicago Reporter - and posted to YouTube in December 2016 - and shows commentary by Shari Henry who opposes the extension as the project could threaten her family home. We see a drive around through the communities that are affected by this proposed project. As I may hope there could be further development Henry uses 95th as a guide with little business development around the 95th Terminal. [VIDEO]
The next video shows a proposal for the revitalization of the intersection at 115th & Michigan - although yeah they refer to this as 116th & Michigan. This is geared towards transit oriented development with mixed use buildings that hopefully will include storefronts, low-income housing, a grand entrance to the nearby L station, and greenspace to be used for community events. Seems like a great plan that should be considered even if it must be refined. The video was posted to YouTube in May 2017. [VIDEO]
Here's yet another video which was posted to YouTube in Dec. 2012 - 4 years ahead of The Chicago Reporter video with Shari Henry. Of course this is a video that is in favor of the Red Line extension to 130th Street and certainly wants us to know the benefits of building this extension. An hour commute to downtown Chicago for cultural, education, or even jobs. The far south side won't be so disconnected or it won't take so long to take advantage of all the opportunities the city of Chicago has to offer. [VIDEO]
Forgot to add the above video was before the 2013 Red Line south reconstruction and before the current redevelopment of the 95th Red Line terminal.

What you see below is the project development phase which is the final environmental impact statement and record of decision as far as the Red Line alignment along the Union Pacific Railroad route. I suppose this means which side of the tracks will have their properties impacted which is also explained in the two-page report from CTA.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Tribune: Planned warehouses could bring thousands of jobs to Pullman

This morning over at our ig account we reposted a screen cap that is a rendering of the future warehouses expected to come near 103rd/Stony Island provided by this Chicago Tribune article. As a matter of fact, these warehouses will be closer to 111th Street near the Walmart. Below I will share the post provided by Ian Lantz who owns The Pullman Cafe.
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Sunday, September 3, 2017

Summer is almost over

Nothing symbolizes this fact that the above ig post from our local ABC affiliate. What you see below are the last fireworks you will see at Navy Pier for the summer. After Labor Day it's time to send the young people back to school! I hope everyone enjoyed their summer this year.

Granted we have a lot going on in Chicago with gun violence and further away from home people have been soldiering through a major hurricane that has caused significant flooding.
A post shared by ABC 7 Chicago (@abc7chicago) on