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Old February 22nd, 2007, 08:59 PM   #101
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Aw, HELL no. Are they kidding?
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 10:06 PM   #102
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Its sorta odd for Chicago, is it located near a chinese neighborhood? I think its a cool exotic design, but will it fit?
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 10:22 PM   #103
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Its sorta odd for Chicago, is it located near a chinese neighborhood? I think its a cool exotic design, but will it fit?
It is in Chicago's Chinatown, which is not really very expansive at all. But, this rendering is unrealistic at best.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 10:24 PM   #104
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More China for Chinatown?
(http://www.suntimes.com/business/259...hina16.article)

February 16, 2007

BY DAVID ROEDER AND FRAN SPIELMAN Staff Reporters
Boldly promising a new landmark for Chinatown, two entrepreneurs want to construct a hotel that appeals to ethnic pride and the neighborhood's proximity to McCormick Place.

See Wong, a Chinatown home builder, and business partner Peter Siu have proposed a 175-room hotel at the southwest corner of Clark and Archer. At 15 stories, it will be prominent in the area, particularly with its ornate, pagoda-style roof.

Wong said the Asian influence will be apparent throughout the operation. He said the floors will be dedicated to one of three ancient Chinese dynasties, with custom furniture dedicated to those periods and the principles of feng shui honored.

The hotel would be called Grand Imperial and occupy a narrow slice of land that once was a junkyard.

Wong, whose architectural firm is Gurnee-based Haylock Design, hopes to start the project later this year, and deliver the hotel in 2009.

The $50 million hotel will be run independently, not part of a national chain. Wong said he will sell the rooms to investors for about $250,000 each. The so-called condo-hotel option has enjoyed only limited acceptance in the Chicago market, and has done better in warm-weather vacation destinations.

But Wong said his project will succeed because it is near McCormick Place and should draw conventioneers who don't want to pay downtown prices. Many of those visitors are from China, and "they are often repeat visitors" when they find a hotel they like, he said.

"The Chinese economy is booming, and most of the businessmen do a lot of overseas travel for conventions. Chicago is one of the most popular destinations," he said.

He and Siu, who runs an accounting firm, have filed a zoning request with the city to build the hotel. The application will lead to hearings and a vote in the City Council, a process that usually takes several months.


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Old February 22nd, 2007, 11:52 PM   #105
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Mid South Side

LANGUAGE AND PERCEPTION :
Selling the South Side

With gentrification comes a new identity, name

By Natalie Y. Moore
Published February 11, 2007


Ever since Mayor Richard Daley announced Washington Park as his choice for a 2016 Olympic stadium, the area increasingly has been referred to as the "mid-South Side." It's a curious label.

The area encompasses Bronzeville, North Kenwood, Woodlawn and Washington Park--the historic Black Belt of Chicago. It is a setting that writers Lorraine Hansberry and Richard Wright portrayed in their influential works "A Raisin in the Sun" and "Native Son," where U.S. Rep. William Dawson assembled black political muscle to deliver Democratic votes and where the Rolling Stones trekked to hear authentic blues.



"Mid-South Side" sounds like a byproduct of gentrification and a stab at recasting the area's rich history--using language to conjure a new identity.

My mother grew up in Woodlawn in the 1950s and '60s. The neighbors were more than friendly, 63rd Street buzzed with businesses, and my Georgia-born grandparents were members of a Baptist church on their block.

By 1980, my grandparents were retired and had grown weary of the gangs that had taken over the neighborhood. Blight encircled them. A bombed-out apartment building across the street resembled an urban carcass. Fed up, they moved to a two-flat in Park Manor, not far from 71st Street and King Drive.

I live in Beverly, and as I contemplate buying a place, my search has brought me full circle to Woodlawn, home to new and renovated housing with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors.

I have always wanted to buy south because my family and social networks reside there, and I see home-buying as a way of building community wealth.

Many of my friends have purchased homes in Bronzeville and Washington Park, areas we probably didn't picture ourselves in when we were growing up. We lived in "safe" black or diverse neighborhoods such as Chatham, Hyde Park, Beverly and Pill Hill.

Developers are expanding out of downtown and steadily breaking ground on $300,000-plus condos and town homes. And, across the country, transitional neighborhoods in big cities are enticing urban professionals.

On the South Side, public housing high-rises are nearly all demolished. And the transformation of once run-down graystones and six-flats into elegant homes is exciting. So is seeing art galleries on King Drive and cafes on 47th Street. South Siders have long lamented that they were ignored economically while other parts of the city reaped commercial vitality. A new Starbucks on the South Side has been a cause for cartwheels.A University of Illinois at Chicago gentrification study from 2000-'01 warned about the negative effects of the uneven development that accompanies rapid neighborhood change. Some of these negative effects include low-income households that are forced to move.



Professionals replace the poor

Black professionals are moving in where less affluent families are being pushed out--to poorer black neighborhoods or to the south suburbs. It's conflicting to know that gentrification benefits newcomers like me and my friends. Meanwhile, public-housing residents have become scattered, and only a fraction will be allowed to return once their housing complexes are redeveloped into mixed-income communities.

New households are holding their breath for the neighborhoods to be built up commercially and for crime rates to drop. New businesses and services often follow with new demographics. But residents of all stripes deserve decent stores and restaurants, such as the one promised by a cutesy fried chicken and waffle sign near Oakwood Boulevard.

And as the revitalization flourishes, the use of the term "mid-South" instead of the less-sexy South Side smacks of an attempt to make the neighborhoods more tolerable or palatable (read: less black) to developers and potential residents.

Chicago historian Dempsey Travis, president of Travis Realty Co., said "mid-South" is a sanitized term to make whites who move to the area more comfortable.

"It was always Bronzeville, and that was a synonym for black--or colored," said Travis, 90. "I think there's an effort to actually gentrify much of that mid-South Side."

Gentrification reminds him of an earlier era when blacks were not wanted in the neighborhood. As a child he couldn't patronize the theater at Pershing Road and Drexel Boulevard. In the late 1930s, his was among the first black families to move to 36th Street and Cottage Grove.In the early 1990s, the non-profit Mid-South Planning and Development Commission was charged with improving the neighborhood, said Leroy Kennedy, associate vice president for community development at the Illinois Institute of Technology and a commission member. He said the group used "mid-South" simply as a geographic locator.That effort led to a revival of the name Bronzeville, which had not been used since its heyday decades earlier.

"Bronzeville is more of a cultural, social and anthropological area, more of a state of mind," Kennedy told me over homemade biscuits at Pearl's Place, at 3901 S. Michigan Ave. "Mid-South" was never meant to soften the image of the South Side, Kennedy said.



Term widely used

Still, the term is being used today by the media, universities and some development groups to allay negative perceptions.

Cities often undergo identity shifts, especially in connection with issues such as immigration, white flight, newfound trendiness and class warfare. But this recent rebranding is more than semantics to my sensitive ears. Although I don't begrudge development that is long overdue in any part of the South Side, I know that when urban centers become hip again, blacks often are left out of home buying, the economic windfall and ancillary perks.

That's the thing about changing neighborhoods and changing names--many people fear the welcome mat will soon be yanked.

----------

Natalie Y. Moore is co-author of "Deconstructing Tyrone: A New Look at Black Masculinity in the Hip-Hop Generation" and an adjunct professor of journalism at Columbia College.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 10:03 PM   #106
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Aw, HELL no. Are they kidding?

What's wrong with this? It's a great looking, interesting building. It's appropriate for the neighborhood and it will bring much need tourism to Chinatown. Plus it's just down the street from McCormick Place. The only problem I see is that the SW corner of Clark and Archer has Metra tracks running through it. Wouldn't want the rooms facing out towards those.
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 05:25 AM   #107
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Miscellaneous

http://www.suntimes.com/business/279...ight02.article
Brighton Pk. on the move
18 point bold condensed deck hed readout here S.W. Side neighborhood looks to get Bridgeport's overflow development

March 2, 2007
BY DAVID ROEDER AND FRAN SPIELMAN Staff Reporters
Brighton Park, a modest Southwest Side neighborhood with available land and easy transportation links to downtown, is due for a surge in residential construction.
Zoning applications have been filed or are coming for two multihome projects on former industrial tracts. Developers hope to add around 900 units to the neighborhood's housing stock, perhaps Brighton Park's biggest building binge since before the Great Depression.

Their intent is to cash in on housing demand that has spilled over from Bridgeport and Chinatown to the east.

"The demand is following a lava flow path" along the Stevenson Expy. and the Chicago Transit Authority's Orange Line, said Jeffrey Benach, executive vice president at Lexington Homes LLC.

Lexington has proposed an 84-unit development consisting of town houses and three-flats on the site of the old Chicago Tube & Iron plant, 2531 W. 48th St. But that's just a prelude to what Lexington is planning for adjacent land that, according to Ald. Edward Burke (14th), used to include a spring company and a steel plant.

Lexington is developing plans for about 600 homes in a mix of mid-rise buildings, plus town houses and three-flats, Benach said.

The site is roughly from Western to California, 48th Street to the Orange Line around 49th Street.

Nearby at 51st and St. Louis, developers Anthony DeGrazia and Eric Gonzalez have filed for zoning authorization to build up to 273 homes. DeGrazia has many housing projects under his belt on the South Side, and said this one would be his largest.

Most of the activity is within Burke's 14th Ward. Re-elected over a nominal opponent on Tuesday, Burke said he supports the developments because they meet a demand for housing that Southwest Side families can afford.

He also said the Lexington project will set aside land for a new school that the area needs. Part of that project is within the 12th Ward of Ald. George Cardenas.

"In some cases, they'll have to figure out the best housing product to sell, but the design will be similar to what was built in the neighborhood 100 years ago," Burke said.

That means lots of brick facades and a mix of mostly small-scale buildings.

For the DeGrazia property, the exact unit count is uncertain because buyers on individual lots will have a choice between a single-family home or a two-flat. For a later phase, he plans 120 condominiums in two buildings on the 10-acre property, onetime home to a trucking terminal.

DeGrazia estimated his homes will be marketed for around $310,000 and the two-flats for around $450,000. He said new two-flats are a rarity in Chicago but should be coveted by buyers who want rental income to reduce their monthly payments.

Benach said Lexington will sell the units in its planned three- and six-flats as separate condos. Prices might range from around $220,000 to about $350,000 for town houses, he said.

In both cases, developers are targeting a market that includes city workers and people already in the area who want a new home. They also said they hope to begin marketing the projects soon after the zoning changes are final.

With the support of Burke and Cardenas, those approvals are probably certain.

There are no commitments for some of the units to carry a lower, subsidized price, a requirement that often kicks in when the city agrees to provide tax increment financing for a project. But Burke said he was open to creating a TIF district.

The DeGrazia project would be started immediately east of another 200-home complex already in progress. The development is at 51st and Lawndale, technically in Archer Heights.

DeGrazia and Gonzalez are partners in that deal with Ted Mazola and Gus Mauro of New West Realty Inc.

The developers bravely predict their projects' appeal will withstand any slowdown in the housing market. "I like to think this downturn will weed out the amateurs" among the builders, DeGrazia said.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 03:15 AM   #108
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Swamped by a past of steel, Restored marsh key to Hegewisch's rebirth

http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...i-bizfront-hed

Swamped by a past of steel
Restored marsh key to Hegewisch's rebirth


By Azam Ahmed
Tribune staff reporter
Published March 19, 2007


Mike Aniol grew up in tiny Hegewisch, where the mantra once was "smoke means jobs."

But the steel industry left his neighborhood on Chicago's Southeast Side a long time ago. Now Aniol and other residents are hoping that an ambitious project to restore a local marsh and erect an environmental center will help fill that void.

"The environmental thing is a good thing. It'll bring people in as tourists, and they might just realize that Hegewisch is awful close to downtown," Aniol said.

Work recently began to restore the marsh, frequented by 20 state-listed endangered species and an environmental center, a one-story glass structure set into a steel "nest."

Both are expected to be completed in late 2009.

Like other communities across the nation, Hegewisch is struggling to find a remedy for the ills of a post-industrial U.S. economy. Some places, like Manayunk, Pa., have attempted to redefine themselves, from industrial wasteland to industrial chic. Others, like Cawker City, Kan., use homemade oddities like the world's largest ball of yarn to draw tourists.

In Hegewisch, people are hoping that a parcel of land about the size of 76 football fields will bring as many as 100,000 tourists a year, by city officials' estimates.

From his perch at the family hardware store, opened by his father, Aniol has seen his community shrink as residents left for jobs and other opportunities. The project could help reverse those trends, he said.

Aniol has the affable manner of someone who always feels at home, and after 55 years in the small community, he should. His mother, Helen, lives across the street and has been in Hegewisch for 85 years. His son lives next door to his mother, and his daughter on the other side.

His hardware store, an impromptu meeting place, has been in his family since he was a boy, and it sits along the main drag.

"I don't think people believe it yet. They don't realize the difficulties in dealing with this," he said of the more than eight-year struggle to begin work on the marsh project.

The marsh is part of the largest tract of marshlands in the U.S. within the limits of any major city, said Marian Byrnes, founder of the Southeast Environmental Taskforce.

"It's quite remarkable that the ecology has survived the industrial abuse," Byrnes said. "It wasn't intentional abuse. It was because people didn't have a view of ecology back then."

Byrnes said it has been a long, hard fight to preserve the land in Hegewisch, which had once been slated to become a third airport for Chicago before civic activism halted those plans.

"Having worked in the environment here since 1979, the most we ever hoped for was to preserve these wetlands without them being swallowed up by dumping and other damage," Byrnes said. "What has happened now is beyond our wildest dreams of what we expected to see in our lifetime."

Last February, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service set aside $750,000 for the marsh's restoration. State and local agencies added roughly $500,000 in combined funds, and the city has bought all but a small parcel of the marsh, said Nicole Kamins, program director at the Chicago Department of Environment.

Ford Motor Co., which has a factory in the area, has given $6 million for the environmental center and an endowment, and the City of Chicago has given $3 million to build the center, Kamins said.

"I think most people are hopeful about what potentially can happen--but hopeful as well as being on the lookout to see what's going to happen," said Rod Sellers, president of the Southeast Chicago Historical Society.

Some people are concerned about a possible influx of outsiders and traffic problems, Sellers said. Not all residents are convinced the project will mean money for the area, he said.

"It's a little off the beaten path--you can get to the environmental center without going through heart of Hegewisch," Sellers said.

After most of the steel mills closed down in the 1980s, when the community was at its peak, Hegewisch limped along in the wake of economic globalization. Many residents moved farther south, to the suburbs, and the population dropped about 15 percent, to 9,781, as of the 2000 census.

Hulking, skeletal factories dominate the landscape surrounding the neighborhood, a persistent reminder of the void caused by the steel companies' departure.

Streets are lined with quiet, modest homes that have been passed down through generations. Fissured sidewalks and converted storefronts pervade strips of commercial buildings, and a preponderance of small, blue-collar bars that once served workers pepper the streets.

The Chamber of Commerce sits beside a Food and Liquor store on the main street, Baltimore Avenue, where the city has recently renovated the streetscape with new lights and neighborhood banners. There is a hair salon, a pizza shop, a hot dog place and a Polish deli. None of the buildings along the road rise more than two stories, giving the area its distinct small-town feel, despite being part of Chicago.

The parallel Brandon Avenue shows what 20 years of disrepair means, with sidewalks crumbling and so many patches smacked down over the road Chamber of Commerce President Rich Ralphson has taken to calling it "downtown Beirut."

"It's rundown," he said of the bleak strip. "There are a lot of illegal conversions, where storefronts are now apartments. But we're trying to get that changed."

Some of the older residents think the marsh is a good way to resuscitate the community's expanses of unused real estate, whether empty land or storefront.

"I think anything like that is excellent," said bar owner Dean Miller, who moved to the community in 1978. "Take a piece of useful land and do something with it. It would definitely help my business."

But the 71-year-old, who has owned the Beacon Tap since 1994, is cautious about placing too much hope in the project.

Whether it happens to be the "win-win situation" he hopes for or fails to bring revenue at all, he said the community's strength lies in its ability to stick together, "to not take anything sitting still."

With a handful of state endangered species such as yellow-headed blackbirds and black-crowned night herons frequenting the Hegewisch marsh, and 762 species of plant life, the area could see an increase in visits from bird-watchers and naturalists alike, activists say.

It may also get students, both from the local area and elsewhere in Chicago, to visit the more than 20,000-square-foot Environmental Center. Some, like Amanda Mull, think that something like the center, and the people it could bring into Hegewisch, could help enliven the area.

"There is nothing for teenagers to do here," said Mull, 18, a community college student. "Hegewisch might be better if we had more people. Right now, it's like nobody knows that it exists."

The marsh will be considered an educational site and entry point for the adjoining 4,800-acre Lake Calumet Wetlands area. City officials are hoping, like Aniol, that it will complement the community's heritage.

"The theme that we're using is coexistence. It's not meant to be a nature center where you get away from it all," Kamins said. "It's more about intertwining the natural with the history of the community and industry so that visitors can learn that all these things go hand in hand in the Calumet region."

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Old March 20th, 2007, 07:33 AM   #109
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^ That story has made me happier than anything I have read in the newspapers in the past 6 years, honest to God. So wonderful to hear and I really, REALLY hope that the whole Lake Calumet Wetlands area comes to fruition very soon.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 07:42 AM   #110
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^ Perhaps I'm missing something, but how are a bunch of swamps supposed to reignite Hegewisch?

How about houses, transit, and stores? Call me old-fashioned, but those are generally the components of a desirable city neighborhood.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 05:29 PM   #111
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^ Perhaps I'm missing something, but how are a bunch of swamps supposed to reignite Hegewisch?

How about houses, transit, and stores? Call me old-fashioned, but those are generally the components of a desirable city neighborhood.
Perhaps the thinking is that people visiting the area and seeing its natural beauty and proximity to the city, might spark developers to invest in it. Some of the abandoned industrial structures have the apearance of modern sculptural works. We'll see.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 05:48 PM   #112
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^ Perhaps I'm missing something, but how are a bunch of swamps supposed to reignite Hegewisch?

How about houses, transit, and stores? Call me old-fashioned, but those are generally the components of a desirable city neighborhood.
You're not old-fashioned just ignorant. To me, the main point of the article is the fact that these "swamps" - wetlands, which are a vital part to the local ecosystem, are coming back and the attachment/connection to the whole Lake Calumet wetland system is very important news. Wetlands, which once dominated the landscape Illinois, now account for about 1% of the total geological make-up of the state. They are very relevant to the health of an ecosystem because of the following (as copied from the Wikipedia entry for "Wetlands" which explains the cyclical process far better than I could articulate it): "Wetland functions
By absorbing the force of strong winds and tides, wetlands protect terrestrial areas adjoining them from storms, floods, and tidal damage. Wetlands remove nutrients from surface and ground water by filtering and by converting nutrients to unavailable forms. Denitrification is arguably the most important of these reactions because humans have increased nitrate worldwide by applying fertilizers. Increased nitrate availability can cause eutrophication, but denitrification converts biologically available nitrogen back into nitrogen gas, which is biologically unavailable except to nitrogen fixing bacteria. Denitrification can be detected in many soils, but denitrification is fastest in wetlands soils (for an example, see Ullah and Faulkner 2006). Many wetlands also provide habitats for resident and migratory fish and wildlife.

Intertidal wetlands provide an excellent example of invasion, modification and succession. The invasion and succession process is establishment of seagrasses. These help stabilize sediment and increase sediment capture rates. The trapped sediment gradually develops into mud flats. Mud flat organisms become established encouraging other life forms changing the organic composition of the soils.

The mangroves establish themselves in the shallower water upslope from the mudflats. Mangroves further stabilize sediment and over time increase the soil level. This results in less tidal movement and the development of salt marshes. (succession) The salty nature of the soil means it can only be tolerated by special types of grasses e.g. saltbush, rush and sedge. There is also changing species diversity in each succession.

In the salt marshes there is greater species diversity, nutrient recycling, and niche specialisation making it one of the most productive ecosystems on Earth."

Sometimes, it's not about what is constructed which offers the most exciting or relevant news, but about our surroundings and how critical it is to protect and enhance what is already there, or if possible help encourage new wetland development in an area that was previously unable to support that type of biodiversity.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 06:06 PM   #113
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You're not old-fashioned just ignorant.
^ Yeah, you're sure to win people over talking like that

Quote:
To me, the main point of the article is the fact that these "swamps" - wetlands, which are a vital part to the local ecosystem, are coming back and the attachment/connection to the whole Lake Calumet wetland system is very important news. Wetlands, which once dominated the landscape Illinois, now account for about 1% of the total geological make-up of the state. They are very relevant to the health of an ecosystem because of the following (as copied from the Wikipedia entry for "Wetlands" which explains the cyclical process far better than I could articulate it): "Wetland functions
By absorbing the force of strong winds and tides, wetlands protect terrestrial areas adjoining them from storms, floods, and tidal damage. Wetlands remove nutrients from surface and ground water by filtering and by converting nutrients to unavailable forms. Denitrification is arguably the most important of these reactions because humans have increased nitrate worldwide by applying fertilizers. Increased nitrate availability can cause eutrophication, but denitrification converts biologically available nitrogen back into nitrogen gas, which is biologically unavailable except to nitrogen fixing bacteria. Denitrification can be detected in many soils, but denitrification is fastest in wetlands soils (for an example, see Ullah and Faulkner 2006). Many wetlands also provide habitats for resident and migratory fish and wildlife.

Intertidal wetlands provide an excellent example of invasion, modification and succession. The invasion and succession process is establishment of seagrasses. These help stabilize sediment and increase sediment capture rates. The trapped sediment gradually develops into mud flats. Mud flat organisms become established encouraging other life forms changing the organic composition of the soils.

The mangroves establish themselves in the shallower water upslope from the mudflats. Mangroves further stabilize sediment and over time increase the soil level. This results in less tidal movement and the development of salt marshes. (succession) The salty nature of the soil means it can only be tolerated by special types of grasses e.g. saltbush, rush and sedge. There is also changing species diversity in each succession.

In the salt marshes there is greater species diversity, nutrient recycling, and niche specialisation making it one of the most productive ecosystems on Earth."

Sometimes, it's not about what is constructed which offers the most exciting or relevant news, but about our surroundings and how critical it is to protect and enhance what is already there, or if possible help encourage new wetland development in an area that was previously unable to support that type of biodiversity.
^ Yeah, that's nice. I never contested that. Reread my damn post, Ralph Nader.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 06:45 PM   #114
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While i think the projects advocates in the article are a bit over optimistic its still a positive. If it turns out to be a bit of a serene mini-retreat and excuse for people to go to that area of the city that otherwise wouldn't go then that makes it worth it right there. Any and more unique amenities that the far south side can point to attract new homeowners and development is a plus. Hopefully the things urbanist love like transit, density, and business will gain momentum by luring people to the area to visit and give more looks into.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 08:52 PM   #115
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^ Yeah, you're sure to win people over talking like that

^ Yeah, that's nice. I never contested that. Reread my damn post, Ralph Nader.
Sorry if you mistook it as being mean or offensive TUP, that's not what I intended when I used the word "ignorant", it was only meant to convey that you were missing what to me was the point of the article; it's not always going to be (at least initially) about houses, stores and transit igniting redevelopment, in this instance even, this is something unique because it's almost going back to square one in terms of bringing nature back into play, almost seemingly letting that take over, and perhaps after some time, re-introducing built development. I remember during a charrette once for the City of Detroit when I was in school, one of the professors involved introduced the radical idea (at least in terms of the design charrette) of completely razing Detroit, letting natural/native flora and fauna regain a foothold and over time totally remaking the ecosystem for the center of what-used-to-be Detroit, while the built-up environments were essentially a ring around the previous Detroit - strange but interesting.
(btw, Nader is a consumer advocate not an environmentalist; I'm neither).
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Old March 21st, 2007, 12:33 AM   #116
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http://www.studiogang.net/site/projects_b4.htm

Here is Studio/Gang's design for the Calumet Environmental Center - good stuff!:

In order to educate visitors on the past and present of the Calumet region's unique patchwork of industrial and natural areas this project re-conceptualizes the way the building is constructed.
Like a 'nest', materials for the building are collected from things abundant, nearby, and discarded. The design is composed of salvaged steel from the Calumet industrial region and other discarded recyclable materials such as slag. In highlighting these materials, the building demonstrates the sustainable principle of re-use.
The south facing porch enclosed within a basketlike mesh of salvaged steel protects the migrating bird population from collisions with the glass that they cannot see. 97 million birds die annually in the U.S. from collisions with glass. At the same time it creates an outdoor classroom for visitors and becomes a blind for observing wildlife.
Geothermal heat pumps, earth tubes, a bio mass boiler, wind turbines, and water collection systems are integrated into the overall building design and become part of the educational component of the center and its site.






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Old March 21st, 2007, 05:41 AM   #117
PrintersRowBoiler
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^ Perhaps I'm missing something, but how are a bunch of swamps supposed to reignite Hegewisch?

How about houses, transit, and stores? Call me old-fashioned, but those are generally the components of a desirable city neighborhood.
Wow... you sound like the typical developer. Why don't we just fill in Lake Michigan and build a new East side?

I know a lot of people who will make their way to Hegewisch once the wetland restoration project is complete... did you read the article? Stores are being converted to apartments because it just doesn't work here. I think it is a miracle that wetlands of this size are still in existence within the city limits. I applaud the city (and the corporations and participating agencies) for taking the initiative to restore the wetlands.

At one point, much of the entire area (South of Chicago and Northwest Indiana) was wetlands. Due to ignorant minds like TUP, much of the wetlands were filled until the latter part of this century when someone called a timeout and people realized the benefits of wetlands before it was too late. Now, as it was mentioned earlier, less than 1% are in existence and the number is much smaller for this area.

A side note - becuase of the wetlands, the area was virtually unbuildable. The mitigation that would be required pretty much kills any chance for development. Better off improving the "undesirable swamps" as some people feel to an area that brings tourists in and provides jobs (in addition to a handful of ecosystem benefits) than let some big-eyed developers use the money in the form of TIFs to build mass transit and retail in an area that has a hard time keeping its existing business open.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 05:43 AM   #118
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Sometimes, it's not about what is constructed which offers the most exciting or relevant news, but about our surroundings and how critical it is to protect and enhance what is already there, or if possible help encourage new wetland development in an area that was previously unable to support that type of biodiversity.
Well spoken.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 05:49 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by PrintersRowBoiler View Post
At one point, much of the entire area (South of Chicago and Northwest Indiana) was wetlands. Due to ignorant minds like TUP, much of the wetlands were filled until the latter part of this century when someone called a timeout and people realized the benefits of wetlands before it was too late. Now, as it was mentioned earlier, less than 1% are in existence and the number is much smaller for this area.
^ Just because I easily squashed beyond mention your retarded idea about doubling parking in the south loop doesn't mean you'll score any points seeking passive-aggressive revenge by siding with somebody who called me ignorant (oh, and he kindly apologized for it too, if you haven't noticed). Get over it.

To everyone else. I didn't say to actually develop the marshlands. I'm not at ALL in favor of doing that. I just didn't see how a bunch of marshlands can help a neighborhood make a comeback. I'm actually quite surprised some of you so mistook my post.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 05:55 AM   #120
The Urban Politician
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Sorry if you mistook it as being mean or offensive TUP, that's not what I intended when I used the word "ignorant", it was only meant to convey that you were missing what to me was the point of the article; it's not always going to be (at least initially) about houses, stores and transit igniting redevelopment, in this instance even, this is something unique because it's almost going back to square one in terms of bringing nature back into play, almost seemingly letting that take over, and perhaps after some time, re-introducing built development. I remember during a charrette once for the City of Detroit when I was in school, one of the professors involved introduced the radical idea (at least in terms of the design charrette) of completely razing Detroit, letting natural/native flora and fauna regain a foothold and over time totally remaking the ecosystem for the center of what-used-to-be Detroit, while the built-up environments were essentially a ring around the previous Detroit - strange but interesting.
(btw, Nader is a consumer advocate not an environmentalist; I'm neither).
^ I am ALL FOR preservation of nature! Oh my GOD

Sorry, but I am surprised at how my post had been mistakenly understood. However, to me the article seemed to focus on the rebirth of Hegewisch as a neighborhood (even the title), then went on to discuss the marshlands. I was having a hard time making the connection to these 2 seemingly different topics of the article. I've never heard of marshlands revitalizing an urban neighborhood, that's all. But hey, if it'll draw tourists then I'm all for it.
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