Friday, October 13, 2006

Cooperative Temperance Society

Some of you may have already seen this:

I saw it on Jennifer Roche's blog. It's another poignant chapter in our history. The disappointment we voice when we document or witness this kind of activity is a little bit sentimental nonsense, a little bit obstructionist innuendo - but most of it is the cry of real, visceral Chicago, its institutions, ideas, art, vanishing before our eyes.

My feeling is that the very need for Brown Line expansion - and most of Mayor Daley's other development programs - stem from his efforts to do development "the easy way," by cramming it into already stressed white middle-class areas of this sprawling city. For years I've watched community leaders throughout the area tear one another apart because they don't realize the agent of these misguided changes are not individual developers but the vision of the mayor's own planning department.

In the mean time, after 17 years we still have several dozen square miles, vast swaths on the West Side near underutilized and even boarded-up transit stations, that have no valuable architecture and no valuable institutions anywhere near them. And I've been lied to repeatedly, told that it is pure market response, when every day we see how the DPD pushes its agenda.


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