North Lawndale Shows Signs of a Faded Revitalization

Banners left over from Richard M. Daley’s time as mayor hang over Ogden Avenue west of Keeler Avenue on Feb. 17, 2015, in the North Lawndale neighborhood. (Anthony Souffle, Chicago Tribune)


Mary Schmich wrote the following column for the Chicago Tribune on February 18, 2015. The area in question is in the Ogden-Pulaski TIF, which didn’t exist back in the mid 1990’s.  At the time the banners were created, the area was serviced by the Roosevelt-Cicero TIF, just a block or so north.

Out in the far western ranges of the city, on a stark street flanked by vacant lots and tired brick buildings, there are banners hanging on the lampposts to herald the mayor of Chicago. You know his name. Richard M. Daley.

The first time I saw the banners, a few months ago, I drove around the block and passed by a second time, slowly, just to make sure I’d seen what I thought I’d seen. Sure enough, there along Ogden Avenue, between Keeler Avenue and Pulaski Road in the North Lawndale neighborhood, four years after Rahm Emanuel took over the job, “Richard M. Daley, Mayor” still presides from the streetlight poles.

One of the banners, which features an artsy image of a man in overalls carrying a big wrench, also proclaims a dream that never came to pass: “Industrial Revival on Chicago’s West Side.”

It’s hard to imagine that in more prosperous parts of town — Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Wicker Park, Hyde Park — such outdated banners would still be flying. It’s hard  to imagine that if any current City Hall power broker had traveled down that stretch of Ogden and seen them they would be. More

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