Front Page

How Wright came to Kenwood

How Wright came to Kenwood

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Frank Lloyd Wright came to Chicago when he was just a teenager. By the time he was 24-years-old he was designing his first houses, with the budget and support to explore his aesthetic choices. Dozens of Kenwood residents came to an informational meeting on the Blossom and McArthur houses, hosted(…)

Locals hear details on cost to restore two homes at risk

Locals hear details on cost to restore two homes at risk

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer To restore the decaying Frank Lloyd Wright houses at the center of a controversy in South Kenwood will take between $4 and $5 million, in addition to their purchase prices. The Blossom and McArthur houses have languished on the real estate market since fall of 2012. The McArthur house, 4852(…)

Mitchell ready for March opponent

Mitchell ready for March opponent

By JEFRREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Illinois’ youngest state legislator, state Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-26), will face off in next March’s state primary with former Kenwood Oakland Community Organization Executive Director Jay Travis. But the 27-year-old incumbent — who is seeking a second term to represent the district including parts of Hyde Park, Kenwood, downtown and(…)

Jay Travis eyes Springfield

Jay Travis eyes Springfield

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer As a young girl growing up in Bronzeville, Jay Travis heard stories of her grandmother standing up to slumlords in the 1950s and ’60s and witnessed her father’s involvement with several civil rights movements. She said seeing the positive effects of people who used their own power to stand(…)

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(…)

Raoul, Currie weigh in on controversial pension bill they helped to pass

Raoul, Currie weigh in on controversial pension bill they helped to pass

By JEFFERY BISHKU-AYKUL Assistant to the Editor When Gov. Pat Quinn signed Senate Bill 1 Thursday, he capped a years-long debate in the Illinois legislature over how to address the state’s pension crisis — with the help of Hyde Park’s elected officials. Beginning this year, Illinois’ unpaid debt to its public employee retirees amounted to(…)

Objections to Pritzker bed and breakfast ignore track record

Objections to Pritzker bed and breakfast ignore track record

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Although Kenwood residents recently objected to a plan that would restore two aging Frank Lloyd Wright houses and turn them into a bed-and-breakfast, there have been B&Bs in the neighborhood for years. Many people at a 4th Ward meeting last month complained that a B&B would be a commercial enterprise on(…)

CPS is MIA for Canter meeting

CPS is MIA for Canter meeting

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer Hyde Park’s new schools chief received a grilling after disgruntled community members were stood up, Wednesday evening, by Community Action Council (CAC) representatives for an information session. The residents are taking steps to move forward in their efforts to keep Canter Middle School open. At a CPS board meeting(…)

Life after old Harper Court

Life after old Harper Court

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer When the old Harper Court building was demolished in 2009 to make way for the 12-story office tower, parking structure and retail space that sits there now, many neighborhood-owned businesses were displaced. The move wasn’t bad for everyone. Some businesses relocated and flourished, but others were forced to close up(…)

Schools get mixed grades

Schools get mixed grades

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer Chicago Public Schools (CPS) released 2012 School Progress Reports to parents on report card pick up day. The reports offer a more comprehensive look at the academic and social climate of each school. Charter and alternative schools also received report cards this year. The CPS 2013 School Progress Reports(…)

Kenwood Academy honored for academics

Kenwood Academy honored for academics

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) named Kenwood Academy High School one of the Top Schools of 2013. According to Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the 83 percent college enrollment rate at Kenwood, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., exceeds CPS’s average of 59.5 percent. The school’s 80 percent graduation rage(…)

Murray aims for higher scores

Murray aims for higher scores

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer Rising to meet the challenge of the state’s newly raised Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT) performance expectations for reading and math and encouraging its students to take the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measure of Academic Progress (MAPS) exams more seriously were two of the main topics discussed, Nov. 23,(…)

Artisans 21 to close its doors

Artisans 21 to close its doors

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Artisans 21 will close its doors December 24. After its second move since being ousted from the previous Harper Court building in 2009 the artists’ collective will shut its doors on Christmas Eve. Rob Borja, Artisans 21 spokesman, said in a letter that it will close its doors at 5503(…)

$10M plan for Jackson Park

$10M plan for Jackson Park

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Assistant to the Editor Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) called a public meeting last Monday to unveil a proposal to build a multimillion-dollar visitors center in Jackson Park. Chicago lawyer Robert W. Karr Jr., who is spearheading the project, shared details alongside designer Kulapat Yatrasast, of Culver City, Calif.-based wHY Architecture. Karr is(…)

Dyett closure may impact Kenwood

Dyett closure may impact Kenwood

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer The Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) held a press conference Friday afternoon at its headquarters denouncing Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) decision to phase out Dyett High School. The organization said that CPS is creating a “School Desert” in the Bronzeville community and should Dyett close, Kenwood Academy High School(…)

$10M visitors center for Jackson Park

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Assistant to the Editor In a meeting called Monday by Ald. Hairston (5th), community members heard a proposal to build a multimillion-dollar visitors center in Jackson Park. Details were presented by project designer Kulapat Yatrasast, of Culver City, Calif.-based wHY Architecture, and Robert W. Karr Jr., a board member of The Garden(…)

University buys back Harper Court five days after ribbon cutting

University buys back Harper Court five days after ribbon cutting

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer The University of Chicago purchased the newly-opened, retail complex and 12-story office tower Harper Court. “The University’s contract with Harper Court Partners allowed for the University to purchase the property, including Phase II, for approximately $98 million,” said Calmetta Coleman, director of communications for Civic Engagement at the U. of(…)

Kenwood Takes on Big Data

Kenwood Takes on Big Data

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Assistant to the Editor Dozens of students from four South Side schools visited the University of Chicago campus last Thursday to learn about the analysis of large data sets to improve city services, including 12 students from Kenwood Academy High School, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave. At a four-hour seminar and workshop at(…)

CPS pans Ray performance

CPS pans Ray performance

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer How to achieve greater gains on tests and increase attendance were the two main topics discussed Wednesday night at Ray Elementary School during its “State of the School” address. If the school does not make gains over the next few months it could lead to designation as a low-ranking(…)