About Jerald Smith

Posts by Jerald Smith:

La Rabida drive continues

La Rabida drive continues

This holiday season, La Rabida Children’s Hospital and the Hyde Park Herald are teaming up to support some of the neediest families that make use of the hospital’s award-winning facilities. While the hospital is a unique place in large part because of the special children who visit there, the volunteers and staff of the hospital(…)

A tiny castle is brought into the 21st Century at MSI

A tiny castle is brought into the 21st Century at MSI

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Normally tucked above the miniature stove in the Fairy Castle is a set of pewter mugs with little handles made of wood reclaimed from Westminster Abbey after it was damaged during World War II. That type of connection to global history is scattered all over the nine-foot square dollhouse at(…)

Village demolition paves way for City Hyde Park

Village demolition paves way for City Hyde Park

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Demolition started last week on the former Village Shopping Center. The dilapidated buildings are being torn down to make way for a Jeanne Gang-designed retail and residential tower, with upscale grocer Whole Foods as the anchor tenant. Demolition is expected to conclude in mid-February of 2014. The new tower, named(…)

BankFinancial ends experiment on 55th Street

BankFinancial ends experiment on 55th Street

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer BankFinancial will close its branch at 5500 S. Lake Park Ave. on Jan. 2. The BankFinancial location — one of two in Hyde Park, including another at 1345 E. 55th St. — was unveiled by the company as an ebranch in spring 2012. The Burr Ridge-based company’s tellerless concept was(…)

U. of C. must own up to TIF gains

To the Editor: Rather than “Clearing the air on Harper Court” (Dec. 11), University of Chicago Vice President for Civic Engagement Derek Douglas’s letter about the financing of the Harper Court development obscures the level of public investment provided for the project. Douglas says, “The promise of $17.5 million in new real estate taxes generated(…)

UCPD expanding to storefront on 53rd Street

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer The University of Chicago Police Department is renovating the former Dunkin’ Donuts building on 53rd Street. A building permit was issued for the $210,000 project at 1411 E. 53rd St., early last month. Renovations will include alterations to the first for to provide office space for UCPD. UCPD will open(…)

Ald. Burns, reconsider on Kenwood B&Bs

Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to Ald. Will Burns (4th). Dear Alderman Burns: Two of Chicago’s architectural treasures are in danger of decaying: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Blossom and McArthur houses. If they could be saved by permitting their use as bed-and-breakfasts, this should be allowed to happen. To let these buildings waste away(…)

I agree with Currie on fracking regulations

To the Editor: I agree with state Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-25) that the regulations for fracking need to be stronger and more clearly defined. The proposed rules do not do enough to protect the health of the communities. Hydraulic fracturing is a process that uses and chemically contaminates billions gallons of fresh water per(…)

B&B plan could save valuable properties

Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to Ald. Will Burns (4th). Dear Alderman Burns: The people of Hyde Park-Kenwood are very aware of architectural issues and have a special interest in Frank Lloyd Wright houses. The Robie House is the “crown jewel” of Hyde Park architecture, and the Heller House is also well known.(…)

Clearing the air on Harper Court

To the Editor: In recent days, some discussion has arisen about Harper Court that would benefit from a clearer recollection of the project’s history and the role that tax increment financing played in making it possible. For years, Hyde Park residents had asked for amenities the market was unwilling to provide. In 2008, at the(…)

B&B proposal a practical choice

To the Editor: Regarding the decision to oppose bed-and-breakfast status for two Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Kenwood: Many neighbors with whom I have communicated on this issue were very surprised to read about Ald. Will Burns’ (4th) opposition to this proposal and even more surprised to hear about the meeting at which the B&B(…)

Village Thanksgiving drew many together

To the Editor: We were pleased that you could join us at our Thanksgiving “Pot Luck” and capture the spirit of this celebration in photos you shared with the rest of Hyde Park. The event was a collaboration of Augustana Lutheran Church of Chicago with Chicago Hyde Park Village (CHPV) and some University of Chicago students. Augustana(…)

Ald. Burns explains B&B decision

To the Editor: Some residents have enquired as to why I decided to end discussions on converting two Frank Lloyd Wright homes to bed-and-breakfasts. Leading up to the meeting, I encouraged the developer to meet with Kenwood residents to mitigate opposition to the project, which the developer did. I also talked to several of our(…)

ITwirl Dance Program to hold recital

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Assistant to the Editor Students attending the Hyde Park-based ITwirl Dance Programs will perform a holiday dance recital at 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14, at Ray Elementary School, 5631 S. Kimbark Ave. ITwirl, founded in 2012, is a dance school for children ages 2-and-a-half and up and adults. It is based at(…)

Nichols Park Advisory Council to examine garden remodel

The next Nichols Park Advisory Council meeting will be held at 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 12, at the Nichols Park field house, 1355 E. 53rd St. The agenda includes plans for remodeling the Learning Garden, located south of the park across from St. Thomas the Apostle School, 5467 S. Woodlawn Ave. For more information, call(…)

Argonne director will be next U. of C. provost

Argonne National Laboratory Director Eric D. Isaacs will succeed outgoing University of Chicago Provost Thomas F. Rosenbaum, the school announced last Thursday. Last October, Rosenbaum was appointed President of the California Institute of Technology, a position he will assume next July.

Valaparaiso University expanding Hyde Park site

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Assistant to the Editor Valparaiso University will expand its presence in Hyde Park next January. Since January 2013, the Indiana school’s first satellite campus, Valparaiso University of Chicago, has been offering graduate classes for its Master in Health Administration out of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 1100 E. 55th St.(…)

Wright B&B forum

The Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference will host an informational meeting next week on the proposal to renovate two Frank Lloyd Wright houses into a bed-and-breakfast. HP-K CC has officially taken no position on the proposal but will host a panel of experts on architecture, Kenwood, zoning and licensing, and the current state of the homes.(…)

Becker-Friedman workers go inside

Becker-Friedman workers go inside

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer The exterior work on the future Becker-Friedman Institute for Research in Economics has been completed. Construction will now focus on the interior renovation. The former Chicago Theological Seminary, 5757 S. University Ave., has been renovated to add a slate roof, improve energy efficiency and clean the exterior bricks. The institute(…)

Crains features locals with a future

Crains features locals with a future

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Crain’s Chicago Business named several Hyde Parkers and those connected to the neighborhood among its 40 most notable Chicagoans under 40 years old. Dave Cocagne, CEO of Vermilion Development, was named to the list for the work his company did building Harper Court. Sameer Badlani, who oversees informatics at the(…)