Waguespack on the record: May 2008 EVA minutes

By Joe Hunnewinkel  

Ald. Scott Waguespack covered a lot of ground as the May 6 guest speaker for the East Village Association:

  • 32nd Ward infrastructure. Waguespack noted that since his election in April 2007, he has issued guidelines for new constructiond an proposed garage construction rules to improve alley conditions. The greatest improvements in road issues have been in the last 6 months, he said.

  • Olympics pre-planning. How will expansion affect neighborhoods and park lands? Waguespack said he supports Chicago's 2016 Olympics bid only if land use is carefully planned for future use.

  • Digital billboards. Waguespack proposed limits to keep the signs from becoming a nuisance to residents.

  • 920 N. Winchester. This building has been vacant for 20 years. The city cited the owner and discovered he owns many other abandoned properties.

  • Landmark issues. Waguespack feels contractors are ignoring landmark protections in his ward and that the stop-work orders that enforce them are being ignored. Homeowners are not educated properly on what builders can and cannot do. The city's landmarks department is extremely understaffed and not empowered to address many violations.

  • Green building. First Ward Ald. Manuel Flores requires new construction to follow city Green Homes program and believes the city should offer permit incentives for sustainable development. But his neighboring alderman feels many zoning concessions will be made to contractors who agree to follow guidelines. (Also at this meeting, Greg Nagel reported on a meeting with Flores and a group of contractors regarding green building and landmark issues.)

  • Zoning. Future population expansion and current underused spaces are among Waguespack's concerns. He hopes to push for revitalization of the city's industrial corridors in the hope that more jobs can be created.

  • Chicago Children's Museum. Waguespack opposes moving the museum to Millennium Park from Navy Pier. He feels that green space needs to be preserved.
  • EVA board minutes for May 12, 2008

    By Joe Hunnewinkel

    1. Discussed ways to attract new members, revitalize interest in former members.

    2. Planning of Clean & Green.

    3. Landmarks: Both alderman have agreed to a meeting regarding violations and protocol. Tentatively May 29th.

    4. Discussed attending other neighborhood organizations to research accomplishments and goals in other communities.

    5. Treasurer reports roughly $1,400 in account.

    6. Milwaukee corridor: no progress on Pizza Hut property. Walgreens has not made any new advances. Discussed former power station at 1510 Division, and scenarios for possible reuse.

    7. Condition of tree pits on division. City is not taking responsibility for repairs and maintenance. Alderman Flores is looking into possible solutions.

    East Village cleans up

    By Joe Hunnewinkel

    Members attending Mayor Daley's annual Clean & Green on May 17 collected considerable amounts of trash in and around EVA's confines.

    Children from Anderson Acadamy and Well's Community High School created dozens of hand painted posters for the event. Alderman Flores donated pizza for the appreciative volunteers, and members of his staff were instrumental in making sure the proper tools were delivered and to the distribution site.

    Many thanks to the staff of The Boundary tavern, 1932 W. Division, for making a large showing and pitching in!

    The East Village unites

    President's Message by John Scheer

    The neighbors of East Village continue to work together to support each other and improve their neighborhood.

    The most recent Clean and Green event set an excellent example of the volunteer spirit, lead by Joe Hunnewinkel and co-managed by Susan Knapp. 1st Ward Alderman Manny Flores, his chief of staff Raymond Valadez and ward superintendent Manny Gonzalez made sure that the volunteers had tools, supplies and food to make this successful. Thank you to Joe for coordinating the details and for organizing students to make posters promoting the event.

    Another example of neighbors supporting neighbors was the multiple block coordination after a series of shootings last year on Wolcott and Honore. Old and new residents alike came together to help the local police defuse the tension surrounding the initial shooting on the 1100 block of North Wolcott. This was a good example of experienced residents helping newer neighbors understand the options available to improve their neighborhood.

    Dan Nehm has been vigilant in monitoring renovations within the landmark zone. Dan has helped raise awareness while engaging the EVA Planning, Preservation and Development chair, Scott Rappe, to assure communication with the Landmarks Commission and aldermanic offices.

    Supporting our neighbors is one of the keys to the EVA success story. Baby showers have been frequent since the beginning of the year. Sidewalk sales have bonded numerous families on Damen Avenue. Neighbors also are contributing to school projects and checking on the elderly when weather is bad. Neighbor helping neighbor has made EVA a community institution.

    Working with City of Chicago departments is part of the secret. Last month, 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waugespack attended the EVA general meeting and shared his vision for management of the ward and services available through his office. Ald. Flores has continued to make his office available to address the needs of the East Village residents, with support from Streets and Sanitation and Business Affairs and Licensing.

    At the June EVA meeting we have scheduled Chicago Police 13th District Commander Judith Martin to provide her insight into the changes being lead by the new Superintendent Jody Weis and advise all of us on the state of safety in our neighborhood.

    The West Town library branch has been championed for years by Marjie Isaacson and so many other residents to keep even a temporary footprint of a library in our neighborhood. Now EVA is supporting the proposal to relocate the West Town branch to the Goldblatt’s building on Chicago Avenue. This is a poetic solution, considering EVA’s 1990s involvement in saving the Goldblatt’s building.

    Landscaping and Commercial Park have been supported by so many members. Jeanne Felknor has led parkway landscaping with local students and family members. Jeanne has been awarded city honors for her initiatives and her parkways around the neighborhood are amazing. The Commercial Park advisory committee has invested so much time and money to improve East Village's only park. This group has set expectations for even better things to come for Commercial Park.

    Neighbors have invested a lot with EVA in both property and business development. Many members are property owners who have continued to invest in renovation, development and sales. All have aided in attracting new residents and raising property values. Numerous EVA members are also members of the West Town Chicago Chamber of Commerce and own or operate neighborhood businesses. This is a very integrated model: Both residents and business owners benefit from their mutual support.

    Resident involvement helps EVA to continue to improve our neighborhood. Please bring your own passions to the next EVA meeting and join the community.

    Wicker Park free walks this weekend

    Free tours are part of the Chicago Spaces and Places 10th annual event and in celebration of the Chicago Landmark Ordinance’s 40th anniversary.

    May 17-- Milwaukee Ave. Landmark District — Immigrants’ Path To Prosperity
    Milwaukee Avenue Landmark district, in the heart of Wicker Park’s hot, trendy commercial strip, is Chicago’s newest Landmark area. The tour begins in an architectural treasure at Milwaukee/ Damen/ North, currently the MidWest Bank. An orientation session in the new Bucktown/Wicker Park Library will be the second stop before strolling down the Indian path turned toll road where architecturally significant buildings stand proudly anxious to tell the immigrant tales of life in one of Chicago’s earliest neighborhoods. Time: 12:45 – 3:15 pm Starts at : MidWest Bank Lobby, 1601 N. Milwaukee Ave.

    May 18-- Wicker Park Landmark District–The Neighborhood that Changes but Stays the Same
    Take a journey thru time and space in the heart of the Wicker Park Landmark district beginning in historic St. Paul’s Norwegian Lutheran Church at 2215 W. North Ave. “Meet” many of the early residents and see their architecturally diverse buildings. Then walk around the award winning Park and gardens as you learn about its role in the development of this economically and culturally diverse Chicago neighborhood. Time 2:00 – 4:00 pm Starts at : St. Paul’s Church, 2215 W. North Ave.

    Elaine Coorens, 30 year resident of Wicker Park and author of Wicker Park from 1673 Thru 1929 and Walking Tour Guide will conduct the tours. For more information or to sign up in advance call 773.235.8688 or email your name, number of people and a contact phone number to ecoorens@ccisite.com – reservations are limited.

    Beautify your block Saturday with Clean & Green

    East Village Association will participate in the annual volunteer city clean-up on Saturday, May 17.

    Gather at 8 a.m. at Andersen Community Academy, 1148 N. Honore, to take part in Mayor Daley's Spring Clean & Green Day. Make an immediate impact in your neighborhood by cleaning up and recycling accumulated litter and trash.

    This year's effort will work to beautify side streets. All you have to do is pick a location close to you that could really use a good cleaning. Return to Andersen school by 2 p.m. to drop off your tools and enjoy complementary food.

    For the past 20 years, community groups have joined to gather and recycle neighborhood litter with the use of city brooms, rakes, shovels and bags.

    Landmarks Approval Conditions April 2008

    East Village District

    1110 N. Wolcott

    855 N. Wolcott
    4/24/2008 Rebuild existing front wood porch to address a violation. The porch to be same size and location as existing. No window replacement or other exterior work to occur with this approval.

    Ukrainian Village District

    1015 N. Hoyne
    4/7/2008 Electrical: Ten lighting cans, ten receptacles on three circuits for kitchen and bathroom. No window replacement or other work allowed.

    1015 N. Hoyne
    4/9/2008 Interior and exterior work: Replace kitchen sink, floor, appliances, new conduit, lighting, drywall, pressure wash brick with water only, paint windows and metal cornice. Pressure washing not to exceed 400psi and no chemical cleaning allowed with this permit. Windows replacement under separate permit. EXISTING METAL CORNICE TO BE RETAINED – NO OTHER WORK ALLOWED WITH THIS PERMIT

    1040 N. Leavitt
    4/14/2008 Interior: Work to be done at units 1,2,3 at 2200 W. Cortez address ONLY. Patch and repair drywall and paint; sanding and refinish floors; install wall and floor tile in bathrooms; clean and paint molding. No plans submitted for review. No window replacement or exterior work allowed.

    1048 N. Oakley
    4/15/2008 Exterior and Interior work: Renovation of 3 units as per Landmarks stamped plans dated April 15, 2008. Exterior work to include new rear porch. No window or door replacement allowed. No other work allowed with this approval.

    1015 N. Hoyne
    4/16/2008 Exterior: Exterior alterations to brick in lower 18" of existing window at rear; same lintel to remain. No other window replacement or exterior alterations allowed.

    Do-Division kicks off street fairs

    The 2008 Do-Division Street Fest and Sidewalk Sale is May 31 and June 1. The event features a street festival on Division Street between Damen and Leavitt, with a sidewalk sale extending east to Ashland.

    The street fest includes a chess tournament, food from Division Street restaurants, activities for children, a disc-jockey tent and rock bands booked by the Empty Bottle nightclub, including Lucero on May 31 and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists on June 1 (schedule at left).

    The West Town Chamber of Commerce, the event’s sponsor, is estimating a turnout of 30,000.

    Donation is $5. The complete lineup is at www.do-divisionstreetfest.com.


    Saturday May 31
    8:30pm Lucero
    Springsteen-inspired guitar.
    7:00pm Mucca Pazza
    Circus punk marching band.
    5:30pm Tally Hall
    Beatlesque harmony.
    4:00pm Occidental Brothers Dance Band International
    African percussion, guitar.
    2:30pm De Novo Dahl
    Nashville pop rockers.
    1:00pm Muldoons
    Detroit family punk band.

    Sunday, June 1
    8:30pm Ted Leo
    and the Pharmacists
    Punk, rock, pop and funk.
    7:00pm Gil Mantera's Party Dream
    Synthpop stage show.
    5:30pm The 1900s
    Mellow pop harmonies.
    4:00pm Frightened Rabbit
    Bright pop.
    2:30pm Bear Hands
    Indie rock .
    1:00pm Tully Monster
    Teen rock.

    · Wicker Park Fest, July 26-27, Damen Avenue from North to Schiller.
    · Renegade Craft Fair, Sept. 13-14, Division from Damen to Wood.
    · West Fest, Aug. 9-10 on Chicago Avenue from Damen to Wood.