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  #15241  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2012, 5:48 PM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
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^^^ There has been plenty of criticism about the way just about every charter school operates, but I don't buy it. People make up these hypothesis that somehow the organizations are only motivated by endless expansion of their schools when in reality they are run by people who, at the end of the day, just want to educate children.

I say this after throwing myself into the debate in my neighborhood over the new ASPIRA school going up at Milwaukee and Central Park. I've gotten to know both sides of the issue and a lot of people who run ASPIRA and my conclusion is that the opposition almost always has ulterior motives (usually NIMBYISM / racism) behind their arguments.

The missing part of this argument is simple, what motivation do these schools have to just try to gorge themselves on grant money at the expense of the students? If they don't perform, they get shut down. So why would they neglect their students just to get another grant? Its not as if there is some profit motive or something driving them to try to expand recklessly at the expense of children and the people running these places couldn't be more down to earth. ASPIRA, I know, is run by a 60 something year old lady who is just another adorable abuela who happened to get into charter schools because she was given a chance to set up a better education for her grandchildren. UNO is probably a little more corporate than that, but still, its not as if there are these dark motives.

The first Reader article demonstrates these arguments all too well. It is nothing more than a thinly veiled attack on charter schools as a whole because the leftists over at the Reader don't like that "UNO is taking over a wing of the government" and is towing the dastardly CPS Teacher's Union line with complaints that UNO teachers are paid less. Well guess what chumps (directed at the Reader) the CPS and it's teachers union have demonstrated time and again that they are either utterly incompetent or really don't give a shit about educating children. This is why we created charter schools. The teachers unions exist for one reason: to represent the interests of teachers. They do not exist to teach. They do not exist to serve. They do not exist to help the children. They exist for teachers to help themselves. They are in panic mode that charter schools are paying "scabs" less and doing much much better than the CPS schools. They see Rahm closing in on them and their absurdly short work day. And this kind of anti-charter tripe is what results.

Let's not even get started about the neighborhood groups that are thinly veiled racists bent on quashing any attempt of hispanics to set up community centers in their neighborhood. In particular there is a fellow who calls himself "Logan Square Concerned Citizens", but is really just one person with a lot of leaflets. This fellow (an awkward white guy in a trench coat, creaper) is vehimently anti-charter and a bigot. His name is Larry Ligas and he once handed me a pamphlet suggesting that the Avondale ASPIRA school should not be built because ASPIRA "teaches radical politics" in their schools.
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  #15242  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2012, 6:43 PM
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^^^
I had a similar response to The Reader articles posted by Via Chicago (I also don't assume he holds these opinions). I will say that I am skeptical of charter schools. I think that many people accept them without thinking (which you seem not to have done), but, in general, they do a passable job where normal public schools have failed. I am always nervous about the general privatization and lack of transparency that surrounds schools like these and I think the types of buildings that they build reflect that (a goal of increasing notoriety) but public schools also have flaws (the strengths of the teacher's unions in deflecting attempts to find ways to evaluate teachers, including non-test based).

That being said, the people in charge of charter schools can (and sometimes do) benefit from the huge taxpayer funding and self-ascribed, unreleased salaries. The question is, are these BUILDINGS necessary (because this is a forum on buildings) and do they actually help educate children or promote the goals of one school battling for funding over another?
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Last edited by ChiPhi; Apr 2, 2012 at 7:04 PM.
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  #15243  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2012, 7:24 PM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
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^^^ I agree that there should be a greater level of transparency to charter schools (though I am uncomfortable with there being too much simply because part of the goal is to free these schools of those constraints as long as they get the job done).

Personally I do think there is a long term benefit to excellent school design. Remember, this is not a new trend. The original waves of public schools that once propelled the US school system to the top of the world (obviously no longer the case) consisted of structures of grandiose architecture. One needs only look at the historical schools in our city to see they were built to inspire students. When you see fantastic structures like Schurz High School or Lane Tech, you realize that design really is an important aspect of an educational facility.

In fact, I'd argue we need much MORE emphasis on design across the board in our schools. People constantly underestimate the effect the built environment has on sociological issues, but you need look no further than failures such as the projects to realize that it has an extremely potent, real effect on behavior.
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  #15244  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2012, 10:43 PM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
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This may have been overlooked in my post before, but does anyone know where this is proposed for and if it is real? JGMA's website says it's another UNO School:









Doesn't look as well developed as the other designs so might just be conceptual.

Edit: Found the location: It appears to be proposed for this site in Belmont Central:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=chicag...2,284.5,,0,0.6

Double Edit: Did some internet stalking and found out that it is, in fact, a very real proposal that, as of the end of last year, was awaiting zoning approval. Apparently Uno already has the cash lined up and contractor ready to break ground as soon as it is approved:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...hool-36th-ward

Any word what came of this?

Triple Edit: I feel like Spyguy today, digging up new plans and answering my own questions:

https://chicityclerk.com/journals/20...012_Zoning.pdf

According to this the zoning change was approved by the council in January. Any word as to whether this is U/C yet? Can someone who spends a lot of time driving around on the West side looking at buildings answer this. (Buckman I'm looking at you).

Last edited by Nowhereman1280; Apr 2, 2012 at 10:56 PM.
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  #15245  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 12:38 AM
untitledreality untitledreality is offline
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^^^ since you're on a UNO kick I'll toss in the master plan for the campus at 51st and St. Louis (site of the JGMA school that opened last year) http://www.stlchicago.com/projects/uno-master-plan A whole lot of activity to look forward to during the full buildout.

Also from STL, their recent(ish) proposal for the next school to be built on the 51st/STL campus... dont know if it has gained any traction, but its another attractive piece of what could end up being a great cluster of buildings.







images courtesy of ArchDaily
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  #15246  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 3:14 AM
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^ Gotta love the group of Indian/Asian students in the lower right corner of the pic.

Just a reminder to all that your school will be full of straight-A gunners
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  #15247  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 3:39 AM
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The Natchez School is being done by urban works I believe. But you can search the nets. There's like a dozen renderings of this school online, and all embody cool and interesting architecture. But I'm positive Urban Works is building it. The JGMA and STL designs are excellent as well. I think elevating this spirit in design is exactly what Chicago needs....especially when it comes to education

http://www.urbanworksarchitecture.co.../civic_11.html
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  #15248  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 4:17 AM
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Coast and a television filming(?)
Good guess - will be a new NBC show, "Chicago Fire". Apparently produced by the creator of Law & Order.

Also, it seems they are trying to make it more realistic by including Da Mare. (Is there a better nickname than that out there for Emanuel?) I think it would have been cooler if Richard M. had been in a tv show like this, but his most famous brother went to the east coast, not the west coast.

Hopefully the Emanuel connection can help bring a bunch of filming here.

http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward...144949205.html

Emanuel to Play Himself in Upcoming TV Show
By Mary Ann Ahern
Thursday, Mar 29, 2012

... "It's easier being mayor than playing mayor," said Emanuel. "I told them I’d do it under one condition: the TV show is making an investment to the firefighter's widow and orphans fund.”

"Chicago Fire" is a drama focusing on the men and women of the Chicago Fire Department and their everyday heroics. Emanuel's brother, Ari Emanuel, is a Beverly Hills-based talent agent, but it's currently unknown if he's involved with the production. ...
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  #15249  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 6:22 AM
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Wow, this has flop written all over it. I don't see how they can make a serialized drama about firefighting... each individual fire is usually a freak occurrence, so there are no bad guys. Obviously Rescue Me did a good job with it, but only by creating really compelling characters. That's never been a strong point of Law & Order - and once you do that, it ceases to be a show about firefighting and becomes a show about a bunch of guys who happen to fight fires.

Not to get too O/T... I watched The Chicago Code when it was on, but it just wasn't a very good show. The Beast was awesome, but couldn't last after Swayze passed away.
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  #15250  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 6:49 AM
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^ Well, y'might be jumping to conclusions a little too fast - I'm not really a tv watcher so I'm no expert, but couldn't you level somewhat similar allegations against hospital dramas? In ER or Chicago Hope, I think the differences in the patients' sicknesses wasn't as relevant as the characters and human stories, along with the fact that the shows were sort of just night-time soap operas revolving around the random baloney of the doctors' lives. Somehow those worked out. In a fire drama you can have those things plus lots of interesting visuals with scenery around the city, the el and alleys and high-rises, along with some action/disaster footage (depending on the show's budget).

I tried to make Chicago Code "appointment" tv for a couple weeks and I think one of its failings was that you could get pretty lost about the conniving going on unless you followed the story minute to minute and show to show. I mean if you missed any exchange involving the Delroy Lindo alderman, you'd basically be left guessing at what was going on. In contrast the typical crime drama has predictable issues and twists so you can tune-out occasionally, and each episode generally stands on its own with an easy wrap-up at the end. So I think CC was really too complex and tightly written for tv - which is really a compliment.

Great urban scenes in Chicago Code though (the main thing keeping this post marginally on topic).
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  #15251  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 8:29 AM
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Yeah, this city is pretty much a cameraman's dream.

Shameless does a great job of giving the neighborhood feel. I was never quite in that economic bracket but it reminds me of my early years in Beverly. I'm not really a huge fan of the race-to-the-bottom attempt to keep making the show more twisted and dark, but occasionally the show gets a Dickensian feel and really shows how clever and enterprising poor people can be, which is a really refreshing contrast to the blame-game view of poverty that seems to be popular nowadays.

The show's mainly filmed in Little Village, I think... virtually all the characters are white and presumably Irish, but I guess Bridgeport and Brighton Park didn't offer the right feel. They're remarkably consistent, too - all the exterior shots are filmed in Chicago, which takes the crew all over the city. They've even shot in Highland Park.
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  #15252  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 1:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Wow, this has flop written all over it. I don't see how they can make a serialized drama about firefighting... each individual fire is usually a freak occurrence, so there are no bad guys. Obviously Rescue Me did a good job with it, but only by creating really compelling characters. That's never been a strong point of Law & Order - and once you do that, it ceases to be a show about firefighting and becomes a show about a bunch of guys who happen to fight fires.

Not to get too O/T... I watched The Chicago Code when it was on, but it just wasn't a very good show. The Beast was awesome, but couldn't last after Swayze passed away.
^ Has anybody seen The Boss? How is that show? I don't even know what channel it's on, or when it comes on.
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  #15253  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 2:47 PM
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Boss is a bizarre show (on Starz), like King Lear set in a realistic Chicago, so it has a really strange juxtaposition of tones. It makes very good use of city locations, almost as good as The Beast did (anyone remember that show? Patrick Swayze's last work?)
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  #15254  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 3:01 PM
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Boss is a bizarre show (on Starz), like King Lear set in a realistic Chicago, so it has a really strange juxtaposition of tones. It makes very good use of city locations, almost as good as The Beast did (anyone remember that show? Patrick Swayze's last work?)
My best friend worked on the first season of Boss and is hoping to get a call soon for the second season - he said Kelsey Grammar was incredibly nice and great to work with, in addition to everyone else on set.

In other filming news, the Wachowski siblings are rumored to be filing not one but THREE films in Chicago, perhaps starting some time this summer. Unconfirmed at this point but would be pretty cool nontheless (I believe a while ago someone had mentioned something about their studio on the N. side of the City still being around and operational ?)
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  #15255  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 3:51 PM
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Originally Posted by denizen467 View Post
Good guess - will be a new NBC show, "Chicago Fire". Apparently produced by the creator of Law & Order.

Also, it seems they are trying to make it more realistic by including Da Mare.
...
Law & Order always included the real New York mayors, too, so it's not too surprising that a show created by the same guy would do something similar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Wow, this has flop written all over it. I don't see how they can make a serialized drama about firefighting... each individual fire is usually a freak occurrence, so there are no bad guys.
...
That's never been a strong point of Law & Order - and once you do that, it ceases to be a show about firefighting and becomes a show about a bunch of guys who happen to fight fires.

Not to get too O/T... I watched The Chicago Code when it was on, but it just wasn't a very good show. The Beast was awesome, but couldn't last after Swayze passed away.
Say what you will about the Law & Order, but I think its length of staying power and the enormous number of successful spin-offs it had speaks to its popularity and success as a format. Obviously not ever spinoff was a raging success, but I wouldn't bet against the guy's track records with this Chicago firefighter show.

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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
...
Shameless does a great job of giving the neighborhood feel.
...
Shameless first season was a bit rough - I think it was a mistake for the episodes to so closely mirror the original UK episodes - but the second season was really excellent. I was a big fan of the UK original, and was skeptical of a US version, but it's won me over to be a big fan partly because the acting is great and partly because I like that they use the city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
^ Has anybody seen The Boss? How is that show? I don't even know what channel it's on, or when it comes on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BWChicago View Post
Boss is a bizarre show (on Starz), like King Lear set in a realistic Chicago, so it has a really strange juxtaposition of tones. It makes very good use of city locations, almost as good as The Beast did (anyone remember that show? Patrick Swayze's last work?)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sentinel View Post
My best friend worked on the first season of Boss and is hoping to get a call soon for the second season - he said Kelsey Grammar was incredibly nice and great to work with, in addition to everyone else on set.
I love Boss, too. It really does an excellent job with the city, and its "fiction" certainly has a lot of overlap with reality (though not completely - I don't think modern corruption here is nearly as deadly as it is in the show).

Quote:
Originally Posted by sentinel View Post
In other filming news, the Wachowski siblings are rumored to be filing not one but THREE films in Chicago, perhaps starting some time this summer. Unconfirmed at this point but would be pretty cool nontheless (I believe a while ago someone had mentioned something about their studio on the N. side of the City still being around and operational ?)
That would be awesome.
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  #15256  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 4:23 PM
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Say what you will about the Law & Order, but I think its length of staying power and the enormous number of successful spin-offs it had speaks to its popularity and success as a format. Obviously not ever spinoff was a raging success, but I wouldn't bet against the guy's track records with this Chicago firefighter show.
I like Law & Order but I don't think the formula will translate to a firehouse, just like it didn't work for Trial by Jury, LA, Deadline, or Conviction.

For every one of Dick Wolf's mega-successes, he has two or three failures.
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  #15257  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 5:26 PM
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There's also The Good Wife, which I've never seen but which is supposed to be pretty, er, good?
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  #15258  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 7:46 PM
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Milwaukee and Diversey

Now that the Payless Shoes building has been renovated, it looks like it's the Gap's turn (no more glass block!):

http://www.chicagorealestatedaily.co...n-logan-square

Oak Park investor buys Gap store in Logan Square
April 03, 2012


A venture of real estate firm R. P. Fox & Associates paid $2.4 million to buy a mostly vacant 42,000-square-foot building at 2778 N. Milwaukee Ave. that has one key tenant, Gap Inc., county records show. San Francisco-based Gap occupies about 14,000 square feet on the first floor. The Oak Park-based real estate firm plans to convert the upper floors of the four-story building into apartments, sources say.

A few blocks south at Milwaukee and Spaulding, the owner plans to modify the facade in hopes of leasing the retail space but I hope they choose to work the building's original design instead.
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  #15259  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 8:41 PM
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For a moment I thought that rendering was for the gap store. I was ready to strap myself to the building.

Edit: I can't tell what building this rendering is for.

Is it this one?
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=milwau...68.35,,0,-3.59

Because if so that is equally upsetting. There's an art deco gem of a facade behind that. If this new owner screws up either of these buildings I'm going to be furious.
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  #15260  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2012, 8:51 PM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
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^^^ That is an outrage. The existing terra cotta facade of that building is in fantastic shape. The city needs to landmark this one right away if these morons so much as think about going forward with this bull shit.

Edit: I made the same brain fart as Buckman. This building is not the gem at the corner, but the building at Milwaukee and Spaulding. They should still restore the facade on this building as it is a hidden gem that spent 50 years under corrugated metal and is perfectly preserved as a result. All they need to do is bust out the cinder blocks and they are on their way.

Also, FYI Crains, neither of those buildings is 4 stories, the Gap is 3 stories and the one they want to mutilate is 2 stories...


In any case, looks like my bets on the Milwaukee/Diversey intersection are going to pay off. I own two properties within 4 blocks of there and have another two under contract. Gentrify, Gentrify, Gentrify! We are on our way to being the next Milwaukee/Damen!!!

Last edited by Nowhereman1280; Apr 3, 2012 at 9:08 PM.
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