Fascinating article. It's about 1.5 years old.
Bummed Out: How Skid Row went from “The Land of the Living Dead” to cappuccinos and condos
August 11, 2010
By David Witter
It’s a Friday afternoon and two young men from the suburbs are looking for a place to crash later that night, after hitting up the bars in Andersonville and Uptown. A friend recommended The Lodge Motel at Foster and Sheridan. Yet as they drive by it all they see is a vacant lot. Looks like nobody figured to tell them it was torn down to make room for a new Dominick’s.
Time ticks away. They search for the nearest hotel on their iPhones and see the Wilson Men’s Hotel at 1124 West Wilson. Across the street is Truman College, but the area around it is no ivy-filled campus. People hang out on the street corners. The homeless push shopping carts filled with Aldi bags. A man with a pockmarked face lays sprawled out across a nearby bench, face down, arms and legs dangling on the sidewalk. This is the outside. Entering the Wilson, the lobby smells of forbidden fumes. They take a quick look at one of the cheaper rooms—a pen, eight by ten feet with no ceiling, with walls elevated off the ground, making it susceptible to theft and a continuous onslaught of noise: arguing, muttering, swearing, snoring and shouting at all hours. There is no shower, only a shared bathroom at the end of the hall. They leave the place in a half-trot and don’t stop until they get to The Green Mill, a jazz club a few blocks north at Broadway and Lawrence. Shocked and out of breath, they mutter, “Damn. That was Skid Row.”
A short, pink-faced man lifts his head from down the bar. In a gravely voice he tells them, “Skid Row? You think that place is Skid Row? Kid, you have no idea what Skid Row was….”
The rest here: http://newcity.com/2010/08/11/bummed...os-and-condos/