University demolishes Woodlawn building

By LINDSAY WELBERS
Staff Writer

An aging apartment building owned by the University of Chicago was demolished recently and the site will be turned into green space.

The 27-unit, three-story walkup apartment building, at 6005-6011 S. Woodlawn Ave., was demolished because “maintaining the quality of life for residents there would have required a multi-million-dollar overhaul that would have displaced residents, at a cost far greater than the value of the building,” said Steve Kloehn, associate vice president for news and public affairs at the U. of C.

While in the short-term the university plans to turn the lot into green space, the university didn’t disclose specific long-term plans.

“No long-term use for this specific site has been determined yet, but it falls within a larger part of campus designated for future academic uses,” Kloen said. The demolished building shared the block with the Charles Stewart Mott Building, 1225 E. 60th St. two parking lots and a vacant gravel lot.

Kloehn said the university worked with the tenants, through a series of letters and meetings, beginning early in 2012.

Woodlawn residents at a public meeting with the university last month said they were concerned that vacant lots were becoming blight in the neighborhood.
One of the empty lots the neighbors said they were concerned about was the vacant, gravel lot on the same block as the recently demolished building.

At that meeting William Towns, assistant vice president for neighborhood initiatives, said the gravel lot extending from Woodlawn Avenue to roughly Kimbark Avenue along 61st Street, would become an athletic field.

l.welbers@hpherald.com