About James Smith

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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(…)