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  #12721  
Old Posted May 5, 2011, 6:56 PM
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Originally Posted by EarlyBuyer View Post
Agreed, it's been years since I've seen that one operating (spring, summer, winter or fall).
I believe that one is a management issue, though, not a maintenance one per se. Dominick's is on the ground floor, so they have no incentive to keep it fixed, and The Fairbanks is managed by Centrum (I believe) who are basically AWOL as they fend off foreclosures and bankruptcy. Roosevelt Collection's been sitting half-finished for years now, and their other projects are virtually dead.

Outdoor escalators can and do work just fine in cold climates; the one at Cumberland station is pretty reliable. They should have a roof over them, but full enclosure isn't necessary.
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  #12722  
Old Posted May 5, 2011, 9:40 PM
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According to Blair Kamin, the Chicago Motor Club building has been extended temporary landmark protection.

http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune....rotection.html
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  #12723  
Old Posted May 5, 2011, 9:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Chances are that the continuing redevelopment efforts at Cabrini will follow the pattern of the existing redevelopments, which means fairly low to moderate density and dead street life. With such low density, it won't take long at all before the area is filled up with boring jumbo-brick houses and 2-flats set behind 8-foot-high wrought-iron.
^ Clearly you're not spending enough time in Chicago.

I have visited some of these CHA redevelopment sites, and in the ones where there still isn't a lot of active construction and fencing, etc, the "streetlife" on the sidewalks is far from dead.

That, by the way, is not necessarily a good thing. Yeah you have your young mother with a stroller and all, but you also have your handful of youths who....probably should have better things to do.
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  #12724  
Old Posted May 5, 2011, 10:06 PM
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No joke. The other day I was driving down Oak near Larrabee, and two 8 year old kids were KICKING and punching the shit out of what looked like another 8 year old. I honked my horn at them, and the kid gave me the finger. Kinda funny, but I'm sure not too funny for the 8 year old getting his ass kicked.
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  #12725  
Old Posted May 5, 2011, 11:50 PM
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Old town building

Just now
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  #12726  
Old Posted May 6, 2011, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by J_M_Tungsten View Post
No joke. The other day I was driving down Oak near Larrabee, and two 8 year old kids were KICKING and punching the shit out of what looked like another 8 year old. I honked my horn at them, and the kid gave me the finger. Kinda funny, but I'm sure not too funny for the 8 year old getting his ass kicked.
^ That's really disturbing...
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  #12727  
Old Posted May 6, 2011, 2:54 AM
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The old CG areas and Parkside Oldtown are still unsafe. Not as bad as they used to be, but still unsafe compared to areas east of wells, south of Chicago, north of North and west of the river. I might be willing to change my mind when the area can get through 1 year without a single murder. I'm still not sure the door of CG's legacy will close for a very long time, and I think it will hinder good development for a very long time.
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  #12728  
Old Posted May 6, 2011, 1:40 PM
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(double-post)

Last edited by ChiPsy; May 7, 2011 at 8:24 PM. Reason: double-post
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  #12729  
Old Posted May 6, 2011, 1:42 PM
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Those observations go into the data pool, but I'm also hearing very positive reports from a few people I know who are living there -- whom I've been interrogating about this subject -- and they're renting, so it's not "buyer's cognitive dissonance" that's biasing them. A couple twenty-something, very attractive female friends I've talked to about it, for instance, both say they feel very safe walking around their (old-CB) neighborhood -- as safe as they would in the LaSalle/Wells/Clark & Division area, they said.

A visual scan of evening bikers, joggers, dog-walkers, etc., suggests the same sense of safety predominates, although I'll forever be a skeptic until (unless) they do something about the row-houses.

The goal, I suppose, would be to function similarly to many other "urbane-urban" neighborhoods throughout the US. Not entirely free from trouble, that is -- and maybe never as safe as, say, Lincoln Park -- but safe enough to enjoy city life in it.
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  #12730  
Old Posted May 6, 2011, 3:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
That entire area is incredibly prosaic; no, it's actually unpleasant. I'm not talking about the sketchy characters hanging around Cabrini-Green, either.

All of the redevelopment efforts for land in that area has given us the exact opposite of the tower-in-a-park, and the exact opposite is nearly as bad.

The modernist tower-in-a-park set aside the entire ground plane for public use; even the buildings usually had breezeways or common spaces on the ground floor. This produced a situation where all of the open space became uncared-for, because the city couldn't afford to keep it nice. Once the city stopped caring for it, there was no penalty for trashing it even further, because it didn't really belong to anybody and nobody would get upset.

The response to this gave us neighborhoods that sorta resemble a traditional Chicago neighborhood, but now the very idea of shared open space has been restricted to streets and a small handful of defined park spaces. Front yards, which traditionally softened the edge of the street, are now all fenced in with iron fences - every last one - making the street into a very uninviting place, like a cell block in a prison. The fences discourage loitering on the street and prevent the front yards from getting trashed, but they also kill any kind of spontaneous street life. There's no chance of striking up a chat with your neighbor, for example.

Chances are that the continuing redevelopment efforts at Cabrini will follow the pattern of the existing redevelopments, which means fairly low to moderate density and dead street life. With such low density, it won't take long at all before the area is filled up with boring jumbo-brick houses and 2-flats set behind 8-foot-high wrought-iron.

The best city neighborhoods strike a balance between the two extremes. There are multiple ways to do it, but one good way is to build buildings to the sidewalk and lot line as much as possible, but still provide small respite spaces - pocket parks and plazas - every few blocks on every street. Under this scenario, I don't see why some of these plazas can't be provided by a major retailer. If the retailer is going to occupy several acres' worth of valuable city land (more than an entire city block), then they can and should dedicate some of their land as well-designed open space that works in concert with the street and with the store.

Another way would be to allow the streets themselves to provide the needed respite (think the Parisian system of green boulevards and narrow sidestreets) but the ship already sailed on that one when the city decided to turn Division into a mile-wide asphalt river.
Great post. And while on the topic: I can. not. stand. the wrought iron fetish in this city, at least in regards to front yard fencing. Its entirely uninviting and not even all that aesthetically pleasing. Frankly, having grown up in the inner-burbs the whole concept of a front yard fence seems pretty foreign to me. If there was a fence, it was usually of the waist high white picket variety. The back yard would certainly have a fence, but never the front. I don't know when this whole thing got popular, but for the love of god, just please....stop.
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  #12731  
Old Posted May 6, 2011, 4:00 PM
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You don't necessarily have to create lots of parks and plazas if the street is generous enough to share. This means either front yards that can be used for social activity, or wide parkways and medians where people can gather.

Typical Chicago street condition

Typical CHA redevelopment

Mature trees won't fix the CHA development, either.
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Last edited by ardecila; May 6, 2011 at 4:12 PM.
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  #12732  
Old Posted May 6, 2011, 4:34 PM
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I don't know why people just blithely say....oh its not as safe as say Lincoln Park......when the numbers clearly show that LP is above the median in terms of violent crime.


I don't recall right now who said it maybe Walter Lippmann or H.L. Menchen ..can't recall right now....but it was about crime in Cleveland.....during a period of lowering crime for whatever reason the local paper was reporting on it a lot and perceived crime shot up.

In contrast a while later crime was actually on the rise but paper was not reporting it and bingo perceived drop in crime.

Now the distribution of crime in Chicago is heavily scewed to the right....the vast majority in the "middle" of the distribution are not all that different from one another in terms of violent crime numbers....especially considering population...
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  #12733  
Old Posted May 6, 2011, 5:05 PM
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It could be all that. But I'm just basing it off what I know. And the fact that the CG area still has violent crime, wouldn't discourage me from living there. Certainly we could disregard muggings and auto thefts because that happens citywide. But the murder of a convenience store owner will hold up bad perceptions for a couple more years, and I can't blame people for thinking that.

Certainly people will tell you they will feel safe until they become an actual victim. It's very hard for some people to forget a bad experience like that, especially if the statistics support that incident. If they don't, one might justify their incident as being a fluke and continue to have positive perceptions of their neighborhood.

Again, the area has vastly improved, but there's certainly still room for improvement.



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Originally Posted by lawfin View Post
I don't know why people just blithely say....oh its not as safe as say Lincoln Park......when the numbers clearly show that LP is above the median in terms of violent crime.


I don't recall right now who said it maybe Walter Lippmann or H.L. Menchen ..can't recall right now....but it was about crime in Cleveland.....during a period of lowering crime for whatever reason the local paper was reporting on it a lot and perceived crime shot up.

In contrast a while later crime was actually on the rise but paper was not reporting it and bingo perceived drop in crime.

Now the distribution of crime in Chicago is heavily scewed to the right....the vast majority in the "middle" of the distribution are not all that different from one another in terms of violent crime numbers....especially considering population...
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  #12734  
Old Posted May 6, 2011, 5:13 PM
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^^^ Interestingly enough, the safest police district in the entire City (at least in 2009) in terms of violent crime is actually Edgewater Glen, the area just north of Uptown bounded by Clark, Foster, the Lake, and Bryn Mawr.

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Originally Posted by Via Chicago View Post
Great post. And while on the topic: I can. not. stand. the wrought iron fetish in this city, at least in regards to front yard fencing. Its entirely uninviting and not even all that aesthetically pleasing. Frankly, having grown up in the inner-burbs the whole concept of a front yard fence seems pretty foreign to me. If there was a fence, it was usually of the waist high white picket variety. The back yard would certainly have a fence, but never the front. I don't know when this whole thing got popular, but for the love of god, just please....stop.
What's wrong with Wrought Iron fences? I have a 5' wrought iron fence all the way around my property and it's great. It's like having a second set of walls for my house. The thing has dead bolts and everything, ain't no one breaking into my house if they have to jump a 5' iron fence with sharp flor de lees along the top, then break through a double dead bolted exterior door and then break through another double dead bolted interior door. To even be able to steal the stuff on the way out they'd have to jump the fence again since the dead bolts only unlock with a key.

I also think my fence is quite attractive as I have gardened the entire front yard space (about 8x15') and have vines and ivy growing on it. No one was going to be using that space for recreation anyhow since its a garden.

You have to live in a neighborhood other than Lincoln Park for a while to get it. Where there are lots of renters there is no respect for property or the public space. You plant plants and they get trampled immediately if there is no fence. Hell, even the grass in most places is turned to mud as people stampede it instead of just walking the extra 5' on the walk. Don't even get me started on the litter problems and people random people hanging out on your stoop. I love my fence because it prevents all of that BS and helps secure my property. I don't think I'd own a building with a yard that doesn't have a fence. There are even more benefits if I get a dog...
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  #12735  
Old Posted May 6, 2011, 5:20 PM
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I don't know why people just blithely say....oh its not as safe as say Lincoln Park......when the numbers clearly show that LP is above the median in terms of violent crime.
A crime rate is generated by dividing the number of crimes by the number of residents. An area such as Lincoln Park that attracts a lot of visitors and has a lot of nightlife will have elevated crime rates because the visitors' actions factor into the crime side of the equation, but not the resident side.

But yes, as we saw two summers ago, Lincoln Park does have issues with late-night muggings from time to time.
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  #12736  
Old Posted May 6, 2011, 5:32 PM
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^^^ Interestingly enough, the safest police district in the entire City (at least in 2009) in terms of violent crime is actually Edgewater Glen, the area just north of Uptown bounded by Clark, Foster, the Lake, and Bryn Mawr.



What's wrong with Wrought Iron fences? I have a 5' wrought iron fence all the way around my property and it's great. It's like having a second set of walls for my house. The thing has dead bolts and everything, ain't no one breaking into my house if they have to jump a 5' iron fence with sharp flor de lees along the top, then break through a double dead bolted exterior door and then break through another double dead bolted interior door. To even be able to steal the stuff on the way out they'd have to jump the fence again since the dead bolts only unlock with a key.

I also think my fence is quite attractive as I have gardened the entire front yard space (about 8x15') and have vines and ivy growing on it. No one was going to be using that space for recreation anyhow since its a garden.

You have to live in a neighborhood other than Lincoln Park for a while to get it. Where there are lots of renters there is no respect for property or the public space. You plant plants and they get trampled immediately if there is no fence. Hell, even the grass in most places is turned to mud as people stampede it instead of just walking the extra 5' on the walk. Don't even get me started on the litter problems and people random people hanging out on your stoop. I love my fence because it prevents all of that BS and helps secure my property. I don't think I'd own a building with a yard that doesn't have a fence. There are even more benefits if I get a dog...
I guess thats my point. When the only consideration is "security", eventually our neighborhoods start looking like prisons and not inviting places to spend time. And I think its a false sense of security at that. Just not my thing. I'd far rather live in a neighborhood that looks like this:



Obviously comparing the bungalow belt to Lincoln Park or other downtown hoods is not an apples-apples discussion, but the point still stands. I don't understand what front fencing accomplishes other than hardening the street scape. Not to say it can't be done tastefully, but when every house on a block is cordoned off from the other and the sidewalk itself, it makes me a little sad to see, especially in a dense neighborhood. Also find it a little amusing you mention needing to live somewhere other than LP to "get it" as that neighborhood is far and away the worst perpetrator of this closed off style.

Last edited by Via Chicago; May 6, 2011 at 7:14 PM.
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  #12737  
Old Posted May 6, 2011, 6:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Thundertubs View Post
A crime rate is generated by dividing the number of crimes by the number of residents. An area such as Lincoln Park that attracts a lot of visitors and has a lot of nightlife will have elevated crime rates because the visitors' actions factor into the crime side of the equation, but not the resident side.

But yes, as we saw two summers ago, Lincoln Park does have issues with late-night muggings from time to time.
Yeah I know.Straight dope did a great piece on this a few years back and it basically says what I siad in my post
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  #12738  
Old Posted May 6, 2011, 6:55 PM
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I believe that one is a management issue, though, not a maintenance one per se. Dominick's is on the ground floor, so they have no incentive to keep it fixed, and The Fairbanks is managed by Centrum (I believe) who are basically AWOL as they fend off foreclosures and bankruptcy. Roosevelt Collection's been sitting half-finished for years now, and their other projects are virtually dead.

Outdoor escalators can and do work just fine in cold climates; the one at Cumberland station is pretty reliable. They should have a roof over them, but full enclosure isn't necessary.
Thanks for the insight/explanation ardecila.
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  #12739  
Old Posted May 6, 2011, 8:06 PM
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Especially in areas with gang problems and roaming miscreants, it's vital to distinguish public space from private space, and don't mess with Mister In-Between. This was one huge problem with Chicago's highrise housing projects: there were all kinds of semipublic spaces that no one considered his responsibility to patrol or maintain. Unfortunately, that mistake has been repeated in some of the replacement housing in order to achieve high densities within the Chicago block pattern.
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  #12740  
Old Posted May 7, 2011, 3:56 AM
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I've never been big on semi-public spaces or plazas on large residential development. In my industry, architects always seem to love it. But the spaces rarely get occupied, or when they do, it's by a bunch of skateboarders (heh, I've been guilty actually), homeless, or some other awkward gathering. I miss when it was the city that built parks. Private land is maxed out, and when there was a piece of open space, it's was extremely special.

Parkside has way too many courtyards easily accessible by the public. Though I don't see a lot of loitering, the windswept barren paved areas just don't look all that great. It's far too course grain, and literally the wealthier cousin of the same Cabrini Green architectural family legacy. Still a large complex of buildings, with a single source of management. Management changes through history though
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