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Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy Memorial Day

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On this occassion we'll honor the Buffalo Soldiers who are members of the US Army's 9th & 10th Cavalries. This unit was active from roughly the end of the Civil War all the way through the second World War. They were given the names by the various Native American tribes of the west as a term of respect comparing their courage with the fighting spirit of the buffalo.

Some of this information and the above painting was retrieved from the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club of Delaware.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

DNA Info: Roseland Teens Help Fix Up Abandoned Homes To Rent

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Something you may have seen on our ig
I think this is what we'd all like to see more of in our communities. No more stories about the youth causing trouble in our neighborhoods more about them deciding to help build it back up. That's what the young men in this story are doing.
Simeon Career Academy senior Hakeem Day would rather be working with his hands than in the streets.

“I’ve been interested in construction since I was a little kid and this gives me the opportunity to practice for the future because I plan on doing this in the future,” said the 18-year-old Roseland resident.

He is getting that opportunity through a new youth and trades After School Matters program.

Aaron Mallory, 28, of Roseland started the program through his nonprofit God Restoring Order, or G.R.O. He’s working with a group of high school teens from schools including Simeon, Morgan Park and the Noble charter schools

The goal is to improve the community one block at a time by rehabbing the abandoned homes, and Mallory is doing just that with the help of local teens. They’re finishing up work on their first home near 109th Street and Wentworth Avenue.
The reporter for this story Andrea Watson has a poll up asking "Should our teens learn the trades?" My answer would be yes, we need carpenters, mechanics, pipe fitters, plumbers, etc. Trades in addition to helping our young people get into college. Different programs and different options.

At that learn a trade and be a value to our community and earn some community service credits. I forgot about getting valuable job experience.

Read the whole thing.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Roseland Theater and the future of the neighborhood

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11331 S. Michigan Avenue
For the past month I've went to the Pullman neighborhood to document the sights of the neighborhood. And I've allowed myself the opportunity to document the nearby communities as well. Most of what you see documented is photographed on my cameraphone often utilizing an olloclip lens.

So last week I took a quick stroll one late afternoon in Roseland and stopped in front of the Roseland Theater Building. This old building appears to be going through some remodeling and changing tenants in the storefronts as they appear to be vacant currently.

This former neighborhood movie house is looking for new use having long since stopped showing movies. According to Cinema Treasures - link above - it is being converted into retail use. Though this news hasn't changed for years so perhaps a number of things happened and I don't see a lot of progress.

However, I have one potential idea and it would involve doing something similar to what was done with the Logan Theater. It was rehabbed in 2011 and is a second run movie house and is a story you can read here - unfortunately that story is behind a paywall in spite of being published in 2012. Perhaps when the time is right that story of a deep pocketed developer who comes in to redevelop this building could happen here at the Roseland Theater.

In the meanwhile as I document Pullman as it is in 2016 a year after it was designated a national monument and other development activities there my hope is that this spreads across Cottage Grove. Roseland and the business district that sits on Michigan Ave from between 103rd & 115th Street can see some of the effects of being so close to a very successful tourist destination.

And furthermore I hope that in the near future we can see further progress on bringing the red line from 95th through Roseland. Thus the Roseland can certainly have a future similar to the Logan Theater which also isn't that far from a CTA L station.

ALSO you can see some of the photos of Pullman and Roseland over at The Sixth Ward's ig account. Here's the post below of the Roseland Theater.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

US Bank building on 111th Street

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1000 East 111th Street
The US Bank building is located near 111th Street just off of the Bishop Ford Expressway (I often just call this stretch the Calumet Expressway as the Ford is the newest name for this highway). I mostly know of this building as the Pullman Bank building, however, as it happens banks go through name changes as they go through new owners.

Before US Bank took ownership of this building it had been owned most recently by FBOP Corporation which bought Pullman Bank & Trust Company in 1999. FBOP Corp failed in 2009 and US Bank came in to purchase the remaining assets.

This is an unusual building on the south side and it certainly a landmark on this part of town recognizable. In googling the history of this building it has been surmised that it has been used as a billboard or free advertising for whoever owned this building.

Since I'm sure most businesses seek to not sink much money onto labor or otherwise utilize processes that don't cost much money I'm sure US Bank doesn't use the whole building. Pullman Bank presumably used this as their HQ and that changed when ownership changed between banks. It makes me wonder if there are other tenants in this building.

And through more googling I found the Calumet Area Industrial Commission has offices in this building to help those out of work find jobs. And the Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives are in that building as well.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

CTA service to improve on south side

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By James T4
 Announced at the 95th Red Line terminal on Thursday these are the changes expected to start this summer:
• The 95th Street bus, which will combine separate east and west segments to create a continuous route.
• The No. 4 Cottage Grove bus, which will extend service south from 95th Street to 115th Street.
• The No. 71 71st Street bus, which will extend all trips from 73rd to 112th and Torrence, and see increased frequency.
• The No. 26 South Shore Express, which will add earlier and later service.
• The No. 34 Michigan and No. 119 Michigan/119th bus routes, which will add increased frequency during midday and evening hours.
• The Cottage Grove and Ashland/63rd branches of the Green Line will have increased frequency during the a.m. and p.m. rush hours.
Also:
The improvements will cost an extra $5.7 million a year and are planned to be implemented in September, but some could be seen as soon as the beginning of the summer, said CTA spokesman Jeff Tolman.

“These improvements are related to CTA President Dorval R. Carter's goal of looking at service from a holistic perspective and providing the most effective service possible,” Tolman said. “These improvements will further improve the quality and reliability of service for riders."
Words from the Mayor himself:
“With this expansion, the CTA is continuing the important work of connecting more residents to jobs and economic opportunities,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This announcement builds on the strides we have made to improve connections to and from downtown. These types of investments help our economy to grow, our neighborhoods to prosper, and our city to thrive – and we will continue to make them to ensure that every resident has an opportunity to succeed.”

Monday, May 16, 2016

Former fire station in Pullman

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Took this snapshot of this old fire station near 108th/Cottage Grove in Pullman. BTW, who is that person sitting in that top window on the left side. I thought this place was abandoned lol.

Regardless if you want to know more about the history of this building there's this page from Forgotten Chicago.
This firehouse is located on 108th Street in Pullman, just north of the charred remains of the famous factory. Built in 1895 and home to Engine Company 80, this is the last former firehouse in Chicago with an observation tower. Many 19th century firehouses originally had them to aid in locating fires. This station was disused in 1957 and currently sits abandoned.
And now with the additional attention Pullman is getting with the national park designation what other use could this architectural treasure see?

Check out the post of this picture on ig below.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Rebrand?

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The Badger

I'm going to justify this for a moment. For the years that I attended Bennett-Shedd we were known as badgers. In recent years I learned that the mascot has been changed to the PRIDE. Regardless as someone who attended grade school in a different era I will always consider myself a badger.

To be sure it took me years to appreciate being a badger until the realization that changes were made. It was something that was taken for granted and then I did the one most students should do graduate and move on.

Years ago this blog was started in a dorm room at Morehouse because the school where I started my education career - Shedd School - was no longer listed independently even if it was a branch school of a larger elementary school. It's really hard to say what the point of this blog was supposed to be although that has recently changed in recent years.

I've experimented with re-branding this blog over the years. The header on occasion may only have John G. Shedd, Shedd School, or even Public School in the header. As a subtitle recently you have seen "A 'ninth ward' blog".

Here are my thoughts.

What if I purchased a domain similar to sixthward.us and use ninthward.us. Perhaps I could also do sheddschool.com or sheddschool.us or sheddschool.org - although I do not represent an organization at all. Perhaps I can also do a variation of badgercity or badgertown as a domain name. Perhaps give this blog a badger title and in one main respect dispense with the Shedd School branding.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Bennett School has a new website

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http://bennettes.org/

I'm ecstatic that somehow I found a new website for Bennett School after a Google search. Over six years ago I found a different iteration of this website which has long since went offline.

This website has a lot more information about the staff of Bennett School and hopefully they will continue to add more information regarding the neighborhood elementary school in the future. So far I like and especially emphasized some of the architectural details of Bennett.

If they need any help with content I would be happy to volunteer. They'll probably never ask though. :P

BTW, I will say sometimes I wish the many public schools in Chicago utilize the many tools available to alert the public about their activities. Bennett now has a website but they could also use a Twitter, Instagram or a Facebook page. The surrounding neighborhood should know what's going on there even if they don't have any children going to school their. The local school is a neighbor after all.

ALSO another school neighbor has also updated their website, Harlan High School which is reflective of a new principal change as well. Harlan - GO FALCONS - also developed more of a social networking presence and then mysteriously stopped. This is definitely an example where they should use these various tools to let the community know what's going on there, especially some of the good news involving students.

Monday, April 18, 2016

9th Ward Community Meeting

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Alderman Anthony Beale
  • Please Join Us!
    9th Ward Alderman Anthony A. Beale and City Department Representatives present a 9th Ward Community Meeting

    Tuesday, April 26, 2016
    6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

    Pullman Presbyterian Church
    550 East 103rd Street
    Chicago, Illinois 60628

    For more info
    9th Ward Alderman Anthony A. Beale
    34 East 112th Place
    Chicago, Illinois 60628
    773.785.1100


Hotel Florence Pullman

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This is the Hotel Florence as seen from across the street on 111th Street. An historic building designed in the 19th century for those who did business with the Pullman Company for whom this neighborhood was named. These days unfortunately this particular building is owned by the state and still trying to find a use for this building.

Even if it's not for a hotel my hope is that it can be used as a community meeting place or for business purposes as a restaurant for example. Closer to Cottage Grove a park surrounds it known as Arcade Park & Pullman Park.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Vacant building on 111th & Edbrooke

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This residential building is on the corner of 111th & Edbrooke. The next street over is Michigan Avenue. Literally here is an abandoned house/apartment building literally open to the elements as the windows on the top floor are broken. The building beyond this one is in a similar state.

You can check out these properties via Google Streetview
 
There are previous years shots of those buildings and they seemed to be in better condition than they were on my recent walk to Pullman. Wow what a difference a few years makes.

So on my recent walk to Pullman brought me past Shedd School to the Walmart in Pullman where I took shots of the future site of the Whole Foods Market distribution center. Then back west on 111th Street to hop on the Michigan bus to go back north. There are more shots to share.