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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As a life long Chicago with enough mileage on me (pushing sixty....rapidly!) and a life long love of my city, I have it admit it: I'm overwhelmed!

Obviously I remember the bad days of white flight, dying industries and dying neighborhoods, council wars, Beirut-by-the-Bay, and movement of Chicagoland away from its core.

I have, however, also followed the city's revival from the start, even when it was a trickle and a small counter trend to the decline. Let me zero in on a small part of the revival: the Saturday Tribune. Specifically the real estate section's pages listing new developments throughout the Chicago area. At one point, there might have been two, three entries for Chicago, compared to 20 or so for Schaumburg. But change came, slow though it might have been. More Chicago developments went in. I remember looking at the pix in detail, gratified that these new structures were under construction, and having a real sense of where the development was occurring.

When the trend to redevelop intensified, I continued to follow it closely, having a sense of each major project going up....where it was, when it would be going up.

I was on a high.

Today though, I may have to throw in the towel (happily though, with no element of dispair). I give up. The recent wave has flattened me. I have to admit it: I just can't keep up! So many good things are happening, so many projects (with quite a few of substantial height) that I'm just going to have to sit back, relax, and watch, but without a snowball's chance in hell of being able to conceptionize what the heck is happening.

I guess I just got steamrolled by Chicago's development. Not necessarily a bad thing.
 

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Someone last year pointed out that you could stand on the roof of the Carson Pirie Scott store and see a whole new city arising. Maybe we should get a pair of deck chairs. :)
 

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^
I'm glad I'm in my early thirties.
Why?
Because I was old enough to remember and experience Chicago during it's long decline 70's-80's, and I am young enough to experience it's rebirth 2000's and beyond.
 

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The City
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^Wow, Edsg, that was quite insightful.

I, having never been a Chicagoan, will probably never come to fully realize what Chicago's worst days were like. All I know is that I jumped on board when Chicago was on the comeback, and I sure as hell ain't complaining
 

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The City
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My only concern is that the buzz doesn't just end up being that--buzz.

Especially this last week, there have been huge numbers of announcements of projects. How much of this stuff will actually get built?
 

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edsg25 said:
As a life long Chicago with enough mileage on me (pushing sixty....rapidly!) and a life long love of my city, I have it admit it: I'm overwhelmed!

Obviously I remember the bad days of white flight, dying industries and dying neighborhoods, council wars, Beirut-by-the-Bay, and movement of Chicagoland away from its core.

I have, however, also followed the city's revival from the start, even when it was a trickle and a small counter trend to the decline. Let me zero in on a small part of the revival: the Saturday Tribune. Specifically the real estate section's pages listing new developments throughout the Chicago area. At one point, there might have been two, three entries for Chicago, compared to 20 or so for Schaumburg. But change came, slow though it might have been. More Chicago developments went in. I remember looking at the pix in detail, gratified that these new structures were under construction, and having a real sense of where the development was occurring.

When the trend to redevelop intensified, I continued to follow it closely, having a sense of each major project going up....where it was, when it would be going up.

I was on a high.

Today though, I may have to throw in the towel (happily though, with no element of dispair). I give up. The recent wave has flattened me. I have to admit it: I just can't keep up! So many good things are happening, so many projects (with quite a few of substantial height) that I'm just going to have to sit back, relax, and watch, but without a snowball's chance in hell of being able to conceptionize what the heck is happening.

I guess I just got steamrolled by Chicago's development. Not necessarily a bad thing.
I could have never agreed with you more!! Its gotten to the point were its just exaustive!!! the mixture of feelings- excitment, anticipation , just busting at the seams -and things just seem to be getting bigger and bigger , just one thing after another seamingly never-ending.the shear magnitude of the developments and the crazy amount of them forces you to just stand back in complete aww and admiration.Its like watching a son break out of his teenagehood and become a man. edsg25 im with you all the way on this one
 

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The City
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I agree.

This is a great thread that you started, Edsg. I think you summed up how a lot of us are feeling--but you have been around and have seen Chicago for much longer than nearly all of us, and have a much greater sense of perspective.

By God, pushing 60--that means you were around when Chicago had over 3.6 million people--man that must have rocked!
 

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This boom is amazing and probably for real. Consider that it's happening at a time when the economy isn't exactly at 100%. Just imagine how much better things will get when things improve. Just amazing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A whole new city seems to be a theme here. And, of course, those observing are correct.

Here's a thought that we haven't examined before (I don't believe):

Chicago at one time had psychological barriers to expansion and redevelopment (as did virtually all cities):

Congress was the longest lasting southern boundary....for decades, no development would go on on the other side. With Dearborn Park's development, the barrier the boundary moved to Roosevelt Road. It next became Cermak...and then, sort of diasppeared. Right now, you can build quality development between McCPl and Hyde Pk.

Halsted Street (at UIC and Greektown) was once a western border. The same thing that has happened on the South Side has happened on the west.....Ashalnd may be the current boundary for high end redevelopment, but projects are happeneing west of there, too.

My point? I believe that for the first time in this city's history, we're heading into an era where the whole city....north, SOUTH, and WEST....will be playing on a more level playing field, each part of the city offering quality urban living.
 

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Thanks for your insight edsg... I have only been here since 1999, but even since 1999, I have been able to see so much change.
In 1999, I would have never imagined I would have the opportunity to own a place in the Loop, much less on State Street in the center of it all. I remember my first visit in 1998, when I stayed at the Cass Hotel in River North (it was all I could afford), our hotel was surrounded by huge parking lots. My friend and I kept wonder why all the buildings were gone, and what was going to happen. I continue to be amazed by the huge number of highrise condos and apartments that have risen from all those parking lots. Often, when I am walk out my front door on State Street, or when I am walking back home from the Jewel-Osco at State and Grand, I get a very warm feeling inside when I once again realize that I am living in my very own paradise.
I only wish I had the opportunity to experience Chicago in it's less than glorious days, it would make me appreciate what we have even more than I do today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The Urban Politician said:
By God, pushing 60--that means you were around when Chicago had over 3.6 million people--man that must have rocked!
and i do appreciate that you didn't ask me if i knew al capone, mrs. o'leary, and jean baptiste pointe du sable!
:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
InTheLoop said:
Thanks for your insight edsg... I have only been here since 1999, but even since 1999, I have been able to see so much change.
In 1999, I would have never imagined I would have the opportunity to own a place in the Loop, much less on State Street in the center of it all. I remember my first visit in 1998, when I stayed at the Cass Hotel in River North (it was all I could afford), our hotel was surrounded by huge parking lots. My friend and I kept wonder why all the buildings were gone, and what was going to happen. I continue to be amazed by the huge number of highrise condos and apartments that have risen from all those parking lots. Often, when I am walk out my front door on State Street, or when I am walking back home from the Jewel-Osco at State and Grand, I get a very warm feeling inside when I once again realize that I am living in my very own paradise.
I only wish I had the opportunity to experience Chicago in it's less than glorious days, it would make me appreciate what we have even more than I do today.
it's funny how our thoughts can get locked in one place. when the first residential tower rose in the Loop (I believe it was the 80's; the one between Randolph and Lake, I believe a block or two west of State), that was breaking the rules. The Loop was NOT for residential. It was for offices, hotels, shopping, restaurants. NEVER HOUSING.

I missed out on the legit theatre era on Randolph, but in my 20's, it was still a big deal to go downtown to one of the remaining movie palaces (the Chicago, of course, and the State Lake across the street). Michigan Avenue had yet to be the draw it became with the openning of WTP. North of the river did not feel like downtown. I also remember before the Hancock and WTP went up, bill boards occupied the site, facing Michigan Ave. Can you believe?

It's hard to believe the number of places I remember (the S-curve on LSD, 12th Street Station, the rail yards north of Randolph, restuarants like Henrici's, the BlackHawk, dept. stores like Wieboldt's, Wards, Goldblatt's, the library in the cultural center....and the Prudential being the city's tallest...are long gone. OUCH!

I may have mentioned this elsewhere, but I remember taking the Evanston Express downtown and going through areas like North and Clyboun (el tracks, not subway) and seeing nothing but slums and looking out at the warehouses in River North which were still warhouses, or abandoned. And you just didn't go south of Congress or west of either Union or N'western stations: skid rows of the worse variety.
 

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Hey edsq25, it wasn't really Mrs. O'Leary's cow, now was it ? It was you, right ?!

J/K ! I'm happy for you, this present boom. I'm becoming a bit of a Chicago fan myself.
 

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InTheLoop said:
Thanks for your insight edsg... I have only been here since 1999, but even since 1999, I have been able to see so much change.
In 1999, I would have never imagined I would have the opportunity to own a place in the Loop, much less on State Street in the center of it all. I remember my first visit in 1998, when I stayed at the Cass Hotel in River North (it was all I could afford), our hotel was surrounded by huge parking lots. My friend and I kept wonder why all the buildings were gone, and what was going to happen. I continue to be amazed by the huge number of highrise condos and apartments that have risen from all those parking lots. Often, when I am walk out my front door on State Street, or when I am walking back home from the Jewel-Osco at State and Grand, I get a very warm feeling inside when I once again realize that I am living in my very own paradise.
I only wish I had the opportunity to experience Chicago in it's less than glorious days, it would make me appreciate what we have even more than I do today.
I would absolutely love to check out Chicago from a decade ago and the decade before that and on. I would occupy myself years doing that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Dale said:
Hey edsq25, it wasn't really Mrs. O'Leary's cow, now was it ? It was you, right ?!

J/K ! I'm happy for you, this present boom. I'm becoming a bit of a Chicago fan myself.
what, we didn't go out drinking out s.w. of the Loop the way you guys do at Rush and Division today....and did wild and crazy things afterwards? Give me a break. Sure I knocked over a latern, but it's not like I left Wrigley Field and pissed on somebody's lawn!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
JivecitySTL said:
I had absolutely no idea that you were middle-aged. I thought for sure you were in your mid-to-late 20s. Damn! You are old-school Chicago!
OK, Jive, I am vintaged (I prefer seasoned, or getting better with time); but I'm not ready to be stuffed and put on display next to Sue at the Field yet!! :)
 
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