Friday, January 4, 2013

A drive along 63rd - from Englewood to Woodlawn

[VIDEO] The vid above is from one of my long time YouTube favorites, artistmac. He takes a drive along 63rd Street from Morgan Street all the way to Stony Island and he made sure to note how the individual neigborhoods once grew in that corridor. 63rd & Halsted was once a bustling commercial district in Englewood and then the area around 63rd & Cottage Grove was also a bustling commercial area in Woodlawn. Both areas are now mostly vacant lots although some redevelopment has occured in those areas.

In fact on East 63rd just past the Cottage Grove terminal of the CTA Green Line some single family homes have been built. Artistmac didn't want to get into the politics on the video of how the Green Line abruptly ended at Cottage Grove when it used to terminate as far east as Stony Island. Sometimes I wonder if cutting the L beyond its current terminus was a huge blunder!

On West 63rd, Kennedy-King College was built within the former 63rd/Halsted business district and is still waiting for even more development. While it seems more likely Woodlawn could be redeveloped given the fact that the University of Chicago is slowly but surely expanding south beyond the Midway Plaisance, time can only tell for Englewood.

Artistmac does provide one omnimous conclusion: "Unless those middle-class residents can be enticed to come back to Woodlawn, Bronzeville and Englewood, I doubt those neighborhoods, or any of Chicago's declining neighborhoods, can be brought back to life."


  1. The 63rd east line closed down the stations east of Cottage because of crime, obsolence and low ridership. Also, the thought process was it would open the space up and entice development. The development did come. The city of chicago home mortgage program subsidized up to $40,000 most of the new homes and condo east of Cottage Grove. Unfortunately, the condo boom went bust and owners started to rent and some were so shabbly built that some owners have simply walked away taking a loss. A number of single family owners are upside down and that is why they are calling for moratoriums on section 8 and other drastic actions as a way to salvage their investment.

    As far as Englewood. Powers that be basically destroyed the 63rd Halsted mall. Sears could not justify keeping the Halsted st store open and closing the downtown State St store. When the mall left it took most businesses with them,, even Rothschilds Liquors. The strategy of overloading the street with government agencies and not for profits have backfired as their is no tax base.

  2. artistmac is one of my favorites also. Had the good fortune of meeting him and touring his neighborhood several years ago. Glad to see he's doing neighborhood drives again.


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