Sterilizing Bucktown, one building at a time
for the great article about the loft building at 1611 N. Wolcott
("Wolcott lofts to fall," June 7). This building is filled with
character. It is a real loss for the Bucktown-Wicker Park area.
Preservation Chicago distributed color photographs of
the 1611 N. Wolcott building to all attendees at the packed March 15
meeting of the Bucktown Community Organization and spoke out at that
meeting to the attendees, including to 32nd Ward Alderman Ted Matlak,
about the importance of this building.
This building is solid with nice details. It is a shame to lose it.
Why are we going to sterilize the neighborhood? The
small businesses in this building added to the atmosphere of the
neighborhood. Without them, the neighborhood will be a little less
interesting. That takes the neighborhood in the wrong direction.
The physical presence of the building is also
important. The 1611 N. Wolcott building gives the street a real
Chicago-style appearance. Just look at the detail of the facade.
Adding insult to injury, there is a terrific water
tower on top of the building. This water tower adds a great exclamation
point to the neighborhood skyline. The water tower makes you feel like
you are in Chicago and not in Anyplace, USA.
Ironically, the city of Chicago held a competition last
year to generate ideas for reusing our historic rooftop water towers.
The demolition plans on Wolcott go 180 degrees away from that project.
Why is the city doing nothing to protect this water
tower? What was the point of the competition if the city is going to
continue to allow the demolition of the buildings underneath the water
towers? It make no sense.
Meanwhile, where is Matlak? Why is he supportive of the
demolition plans? Also, the developer may make an end run around the
zoning process and make the first floor residential, which is against
the current zoning for the site. We need Matlak to get involved so that
this abuse of zoning does not occur.
Vice President, Preservation Chicago
Why not make it official in Logan Square?
the community up to date on the latest news and gossip is just one of
the great things your paper has done for the communities like Bucktown.
You also provide a space for local businesses to get the word out about
upcoming sales and events at rates they can actually afford, compared
to the downtown dailies. And the police blotter gives us the lowdown on
local crime as well as something fun to read on the el.
That being said, I’d like to formally invite you to
spread your wings a little bit and add the Logan Square and Humboldt
Park neighborhoods to your growing service area. From my cursory review
of some recent issues, it seems like your writers are already covering
some community events in area so why not let us in on the fun? You
might even find a few more local businesses to buy ads within your
Logan Square is home to all sorts of community
activism, which would ensure your writers have ample grist for milling
over the next several years. The activities and wide array of public
opinion alone surrounding the closing and potential redevelopment of
the Mega Mall at 2500 N. Milwaukee are worthy of a 10-part series. We
have contested public referenda issues on nearly every ballot and
plenty of quirks and artistry to spice up your Metropolis section. Have
you been to Wolfbait & B-Girls, our new boutique featuring all
goods crafted in Chicago?
For the unaware, Bucktown north of the Bloomingdale
railroad tracks and its new cousin, West Bucktown, are actually part of
the Logan Square "community area," an official designation decreed long
ago by a few University of Chicago social scientists. I’ve consulted
with other community leaders here and we have decided that we can let
that one pass if you agree to shine some light on our little pasture to
Executive Director, Logan Square Chamber of Commerce