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Harper Court, Hyde Park and the Essence of Community

June 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

HC6In its previous incarnation, Harper Court was a deteriorating remnant of past urban renewal. Evoking a 1960s strip mall vogue, two levels of retail were split off the plaza, with stairs leading down to shops below grade and another set of stairs going up to the second level. Trends in retail have changed, however, and it was proving difficult to retain tenants.
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Sustainability is Above Board at Chicago’s Newest Harbor

March 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

31st_Okrent_smBears season tickets. That is possibly the only waiting list in Chicago longer than the one to get a boat slip. With marina demand so large, the need for a new harbor was evident. The Chicago Park District conducted a study of the lakefront in 2005 to determine the best spot for a new marina. At the top of that list was one location: 31st Street.
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Roosevelt University Eyes the Future

March 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

Edward Sparling was president of the YMCA College in Chicago in 1945 when he refused to provide the school’s board with student demographic information, fearing a quota that would limit the enrollment of women and minorities. When the board insisted, Sparling resigned in protest and many of the school’s faculty and staff joined him.

This group of educators without a school voted to create a new college and, according to legend, purchased the Auditorium Building—the arguable masterpiece of Adler and Sullivan—from the city for $1. “They picked up buckets and mops and literally scrubbed the building back to habitability,” said Lesley Slavitt, Vice President for Government Relations and University Outreach at Roosevelt University. “We have lovingly tried to not just repair, but restore it to its historical elegance.”
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