Steelers Visit Walter Payton College Prep
Jul17

Steelers Visit Walter Payton College Prep

 ` Just over a year ago, we were waiting patiently for the decision on funding for a new annex to be built at Walter Payton College Prep High School (1034 North Wells Street). As anyone who’s ridden the Brown Line between the Chicago Avenue and Sedgwick stops can attest, the funding was approved, and construction has begun. What’s visible now is mostly just a skeleton, but it’s a steel skeleton. And those are the...

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Awesome and Sad Pictures From the Last Minutes of St. Dominic’s in Cabrini Green
Jul06

Awesome and Sad Pictures From the Last Minutes of St. Dominic’s in Cabrini Green

The city of Chicago is putting the “wreck” in “rectory.”  A demolition permit has just been issued for what the city quaintly calls a “2 story masonry residence.”  We know it as the Saint Dominic’s Church rectory at 357 West Locust Street. The rectory and the church, itself, are being torn town to make way for a low-rise condominium building, part of a flurry of projects redeveloping Cabrini...

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Latest Cabrini-Area Residential Tower Breaks Ground
Jun10

Latest Cabrini-Area Residential Tower Breaks Ground

With ceremonial shovels, gawking bankers, and a background of construction equipment, Fifield Companies broke ground on its newest residential tower yesterday, called Next at 347 West Chestnut Street. The Chicago Architecture Blog’s Daniel Schell was there as brass shovels sliced into soil for the ceremonial groundbreaking, as he was several months ago when backhoes gouged the earth for the first time in the building’s...

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Saint Dominic’s Doesn’t Have a Prayer, Will Be Demolished for Condos
May22

Saint Dominic’s Doesn’t Have a Prayer, Will Be Demolished for Condos

It’s official.  Saint Dominic’s Church is going condo. The church at 357 West Locust Street served the gritty heart of a gritty Chicago at its grittiest point in history.  It fed, clothed, and nurtured the city’s poorest in an era before municipal social services in a slum so wretched it was called “Little Hell.” Little Hell eventually shed that name and became Cabrini Green.  Now real estate developers...

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CHA Removes Shroud from Cabrini-Green Redevelopment Plans
Apr23

CHA Removes Shroud from Cabrini-Green Redevelopment Plans

For the second time in less than a week, the Chicago Housing Authority held a public meeting to introduce Chicago’s citizenry to its plan to redevelop roughly 65 acres of the area that was formerly the Cabrini-Green housing projects. Though short on specifics,  the meeting drew enough interest to to fill a gym at the Seward Park Fieldhouse, and spark discussion about what is sure to become a passionate topic in the Cabrini Green...

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Coming Soon to Cabrini Green: Bees on the Roof!  Bees on the Roof!
Apr22

Coming Soon to Cabrini Green: Bees on the Roof! Bees on the Roof!

  The whole “green building” movement has become something of an ecological arms race over the last decade.  Your building has a green roof?  Well, my building harvests rainwater for the toilets.  Your building channels natural light to cut down on electricity use?  Well, my building cries unicorn tears to wash the windows!  It’s all become farcical, especially since architects and engineers are usually the...

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New Cabrini Green Tower Construction Now Underway
Apr16

New Cabrini Green Tower Construction Now Underway

No ribbons to cut.  No hands to glad.  No gourmet food trucks from which to nosh.  Just a very long plywood wall and lots of earth-moving equipment is how life starts for the new residential tower at 347 West Chestnut Street in Cabrini Green. Formerly known as Avant River North, the building is now being called NEXT, and is being developed by Fifield Companies. When complete, it will rise 28 stories into the Chicago skyline, with 305...

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Residential Skyscraper at 460 West Chicago Finally Up For Approval
Apr15

Residential Skyscraper at 460 West Chicago Finally Up For Approval

It’s been half a year since paperwork was filed with the city to build a 30-story residential tower at 460 West Chicago Avenue, a block away from the old Montgomery Ward catalog warehouse.  Now the plan is finally going before the Chicago Plan Commission for approval. If it gets the green, the building will rise 301 feet over what is still officially the Cabrini Green neighborhood, in spite of developers’ recent efforts to...

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Plan to Replace Saint Dominic’s Church with Condominiums Revised
Mar31

Plan to Replace Saint Dominic’s Church with Condominiums Revised

We have long, and repeatedly, lamented the demise of Saint Dominic’s Church (357 West Locust Street) in the city’s Cabrini Green neighborhood.  The church was instrumental in taming a part of the city that grew up from the swamps as a lawless district of vice and poverty.  In an area so bad that for generations it was known as “Little Hell,” Saint Dominic’s was an oasis of faith, hope, and charity. Six...

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One Last Look at Historic Saint Dominic’s Church Before it Meets the Wrecking Ball
Sep30

One Last Look at Historic Saint Dominic’s Church Before it Meets the Wrecking Ball

Chicago neighborhoods are constantly changing.  But the River North area has seen more radical change than most in that twice its residents have been dramatically and fully displaced. First, with the 1950’s-60’s razing of the existing neighborhood to create the huge public housing project that was Cabrini-Green. Then starting in the 1990’s, the demolition of the same. Now the entire area – largely cleared to a blank...

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