Sunday, January 06, 2013

A drive along 63rd - from Englewood to Woodlawn

Originally posted to The Sixth Ward on January 4, 2012 

[VIDEO] The vid above is from one of my long time YouTube favorites, artistmac. He takes a drive along 63rd Street  from Morgan Street all the way to Stony Island an sure to note how the individual neighborhoods once grew along that corridor.  63rd & Halsted was once a bustling commercial district in Englewood and then the area around 63rd & Cottage Grove was also a bustling commercial area in Woodlawn. Both areas are now mostly vacant lots although some redevelopment has occured in those areas.

In fact on East 63rd just past the Cottage Grove terminal of the CTA Green Line some single family homes have been built. Artistmac didn't want to get into the politics on the video of how the Green Line abruptly ended at Cottage Grove when it used to terminate as far east as Stony Island. Sometimes I wonder if cutting the L beyond its current terminus was a huge blunder!

On West 63rd, Kennedy-King College was built within the former 63rd/Halsted business district and is still waiting for even more development. While it seems more likely Woodlawn could be redeveloped given the fact that the University of Chicago is slowly but surely expanding south beyond the Midway Plaisance, time can only tell for Englewood.

Artistmac does provide one omnimous conclusion: "Unless those middle-class residents can be enticed to come back to Woodlawn, Bronzeville and Englewood, I doubt those neighborhoods, or any of Chicago's declining neighborhoods, can be brought back to life."

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