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Lyon & Healy Relocating To Armitage Industrial Corridor In Galewood
“Harp manufacturer Lyon & Healy, one of the oldest Chicago companies, will move from a five-story loft building at 168 North Ogden,” reports the Sun-Times. “The company plans 165 jobs at the new location versus the current 133.” The company is likely to get “a property tax break worth an estimated $656,330 over twelve years.”
Promontory Point, Greater Union Baptist Church Gets Landmark Status
The city council has voted to make Promontory Point a historic landmark, but advocates remain vigilant, reports the Tribune. “Residents have been fighting to save the original limestone steps on the peninsula along Lake Michigan between 53rd and 57th for more than twenty years.” Reports Block Club: The 137-year-old Greater Union Baptist Church is landmarked, too.
Congress Theater Redevelopment Again Revived
“Long-discussed plans to rehab the deteriorating Congress Theater are back on track, with a key city panel expected to vote on the proposal as early as next month,” reports Block Club. “Developer Baum Revision is asking for $27 million in tax-increment financing to support the $88 million renovation.” The proposal is headed now to Finance Committee consideration.
Landmark Columbus Foundation Elects New Board Chair, Vice Chair
The Landmark Columbus Foundation board of directors has elected a new board chair and vice chair, marking the first significant board leadership change for the Indiana organization. Mark Elwood has moved from vice chair to chair and current board member Tracy Haddad has moved to the vice chair position. Landmark Columbus Foundation is a public resource and thought leader for Progressive Preservation in Bartholomew County; an advocate and educator for and about cultural heritage; and a source of inspiration to advance good design for public benefit.
Under the prior board chair, LCF secured a $3.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. in collaboration with Heritage Fund; launched an endowment campaign whose balance is now over $800,000; shepherded key Progressive Preservation projects at multiple National Historic Landmark Sites, and expanded ideas of cultural heritage to include other significant sites; continued the innovative program Exhibit Columbus through the pandemic, with the exhibition Public by Design set to open August 25–26. More here.
Why Chicago Mail Is Postmarked “Carol Stream” Or “South Suburban”
“The Chicago postmark disappeared altogether in 2012, when the processing center at 433 West Harrison Street stopped canceling mail and that function was centralized in Carol Stream and Bedford Park. Drop your mail at a North Side station, and it will get canceled as ‘Carol Stream’; on the South Side, ‘South Suburban,'” writes Edward Robert McClelland at Chicago magazine.
Wicker Park Leaders Want Input On Improving Wicker Park
“Wicker Park may be a small park. But it has a big heart and a ‘can do’ attitude. Help us make it work better than ever,” the Wicker Park Advisory Council wrote in an email, reports Block Club.
Lombard Apartment Complex Atop DuPage Theatre To Pay Homage
“Preservationists fought in vain to stop the village from demolishing the Jazz Age theater more than fifteen years ago,” reports the Daily Herald. “But some artifacts from ‘the Dupe,’ as locals affectionately call it, have found a new home in an apartment development built on the old theater site in downtown Lombard. The developer, Holladay Properties, had the theater’s 1,600-pound ticket booth, with its marble base, spiral columns and decorative cornice, brought out of storage and restored to its original luster.”
Palmer Mansion Will Become Obsidian Collection Archive And Co-Working Space In Bronzeville
“The Obsidian Collection received zoning approval to convert the historical Palmer mansion at 3654 S. King Drive into a digital archive center and members-only coworking hub for Black journalists and creators,” reports Block Club. “Obsidian Collection founder Angela Ford is behind the $3.8 million plan for the famed Lu and Jorja Palmer mansion… Ford wants to transform the mansion into a three-story facility where members can enjoy small bites and non-alcoholic beverages. Two apartments on the top floor would serve visiting scholars, and the space would host events like film screenings and panel discussions.”
Verizon Disconnects Michigan Avenue
“With the departure of Verizon and H&M, its next-door neighbor, every storefront across from Water Tower Place on North Michigan Avenue will soon be empty,” reports Crain’s.
DINING & DRINKING
Portillo’s On Addison Union Election
“After uncovering instances of illegal conduct by the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers union in connection with the April 13 election at our Addison food production facility, Portillo’s yesterday formally requested that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) set aside the election’s results and order that a new free and fair election be held,” the restaurant says in a statement. “Supported by the first-hand testimony and affidavits from witnesses, the filing with the NLRB describes promises made by union representatives in their effort to secure a winning majority. The improper activity noted in the filings includes promises by union representatives to team members that in exchange for voting yes, the union would provide them a pathway to citizenship, including by providing them with green cards.” The statement continues, “For sixty years, Portillo’s has prioritized the well-being of our team members. As we work through the next steps with the NLRB, we will continue to put our team members first.”
Why Cannabis Lounges Cann’t
“Cannabis consumption lounges—licensed businesses that allow smoking and consumption on the premises (think cafes in Amsterdam)—are having a slow ramp-up,” reports Axios Chicago. “Illinois permits these lounges, with a catch. Local municipalities get final approval… Illinois law says the lounges are BYOC (bring your own cannabis). You can’t buy marijuana and consume it in the same store.”
King Karaoke Opens In Chinatown
Just-opened King Karaoke is “a luxe craft cocktail bar combined with an elevated karaoke lounge experience. Located in Chicago’s historic Chinatown neighborhood, King Karaoke offers craft cocktails, delicious Asian-inspired pub-style fare, and twelve private karaoke rooms,” the bar relays. “The concept is the first creation of new hospitality group No Fun Hospitality, led by industry experts, including mixologist James Urycki, culinary director Jason Hedin and bartender and operations director Chris Cinka. King Karaoke begins the group’s mission to ‘push the boundaries of culinary creativity and innovation.’ The lounge includes a spacious bar and twelve private karaoke rooms, each of which can accommodate between ten and twenty-five guests and features its own design, custom lighting, microphones and state-of-the-art karaoke machines.” Menu and more here. Reservations here.
Vienna Beef Co-Owner James Eisenberg Was Ninety-Two
“James Eisenberg was a champion of the Chicago hot dog,” reports Mitch Dudek at the Sun-Times. “As the head of Vienna Beef, he’d take his late wife Elin to eat at a nice restaurant downtown, but both always saved room for a post-dinner bite at a hot dog joint so he could make sure things were up to snuff. ‘That was their dessert,’ said Jim Bodman, who for years served as co-CEO… ‘It was part of their DNA absolutely and totally. He liked his dog boiled in water with everything on it or “walked through the garden”…— but no ketchup,’ said Mr. Eisenberg’s son Jamie Eisenberg. ‘We had a sales guy who worked for us… and he put ketchup on his hot dog. He would eat lunch early, and I’m not sure if that’s so Dad wouldn’t catch him or if he was just hungry early.'”
FILM & TELEVISION
Could Theaters Replace Projection With Expensive LED Screens Like Big TVs?
“Display developers such as Samsung are eyeing movie theaters to install [“direct view”] LED walls as a screen replacement to projection systems, but the [installation] can be pricey and use a ton of power,” writes the Hollywood Reporter. Among multiple drawbacks and costs “is how sound is handled. This is because in traditional cinema, there are speakers directly behind the screen, which is not doable with LED panels.”
Joe Meno And Dan Sinker’s Experimental Multimedia Project, “Question Mark, Ohio,” Starts Today
“Everything in this town is disappearing. And it all has something to do with a strange white void in the woods…” starts the teaser for “Question Mark, Ohio,” “an experimental, immersive storytelling experience unfolding live over one year. Part adventure, part mystery, part exploration of a community as it confronts change, Question Mark, Ohio takes place over multiple digital platforms, including Instagram, Twitter and a detailed, interactive town website complete with hidden clues and secrets. Using social media, artificial intelligence, and traditional storytelling technology such as letters, notecards, and newspapers, this unique narrative project allows readers to engage with characters and to shape the story by participating in the mystery themselves. Informed by groundbreaking twentieth and twenty-first century serial stories—from early radio dramas to the original ‘Twin Peaks’ to ‘Welcome to Night Vale’ to ‘Homecoming’ to classic Marvel crossover comics, ‘Question Mark, Ohio’ also draws inspiration from the works of Jorge Luis Borges and Sherwood Anderson to develop a multilayered, complex world which readers will want to explore and return to with new posts and clues each week, all in real time. Created by fiction writer Joe Meno, author of ‘Book of Extraordinary Tragedies’ and ‘The Boy Detective Fails,’ and Dan Sinker, founder of Punk Planet magazine and creator of the @MayorEmanuel Twitter storytelling phenomenon, ‘Question Mark, Ohio’ is their first collaboration in fifteen years and is a one-of-a-kind, sci-fi, suspense story that investigates the future of storytelling, connection, and community.” The launch is today here. The site is here.
Midland Authors Name Award Winners
The Society of Midland Authors has made its choices for the best books by Midwest authors published in 2022. In each category, a panel of literary judges chose a winner as well as one or more honorees whose work was also deemed worthy of recognition. The winners and honorees will be recognized at an awards dinner on May 9 in Chicago. Adult fiction: Rita Woods, “The Last Dreamwalker”; Adult nonfiction, Kathleen Hale, “Slenderman: Online Obsessions, Mental Illness and the Violent Crime of Two Midwestern Girls”; Biography and Memoir, Sofia Samatar, “White Mosque: A Memoir”; History, Hugh Eakin, “Picasso’s War: How Modern Art Came to America”; Poetry, Sun Yung Shin, “The Wet Hex”; Children’s fiction, Janet Halfmann, “How Can We Be Kind? Wisdom from the Animal Kingdom.” More here.
Judy Blume On “Gender Queer” And Roald Dahl
“What do I think about rewriting the Roald Dahl books?” Judy Blume said to Variety as the documentary “Judy Blume Forever” debuts on Amazon. “I think if Roald Dahl was around, you would be hearing what he thinks about that. Whatever he is, whatever he’s accused of being, there’s a lot of truth there. But the books are the books. Kids still love the books, and they love them the way he wrote them. So I don’t believe in that.” Protecting your children, Blume said, “means educating them and arming them with knowledge, and reading and supporting what they want to read. No child is going to become transgender or gay or lesbian because they read a book. It’s not going to happen. They may say, ‘Oh, this is just like me. This is what I’m feeling and thinking about.’ Or, ‘I’m interested in this because I have friends who may be gay, bi, lesbian.’ They want to know! … I just read a book that was wonderfully enlightening to me. It’s called ‘Gender Queer’ [a memoir by Maia Kobabe]. It’s probably the number one banned book in America right now. And I thought, ‘This young person is telling me how they came to be what they are today.’ And I learned a lot, and became even more empathetic. That’s what books are all about.”
British Librarians Also Getting Book Removal Requests
A survey by Britain’s library association “shows members of the public using increasingly threatening behavior about the removal of books on empire, race and LGBTQ+ themes,” reports the Guardian. “A third of librarians had been asked by members of the public to censor or remove books, indicating that such incidences ‘had increased significantly.'”
Buzzfeed News Shut Down
“BuzzFeed boss Jonah Peretti just sent out a note to staff, announcing the shuttering of BuzzFeed News is part of layoffs where fifteen-percent of staffers are being cut across the company,” relays CNN’s Oliver Darcy. “HuffPost and BuzzFeed Dot Com have signaled that they will open a number of select roles for members of BuzzFeed News,” Peretti says. “Moving forward, we will have a single news brand in HuffPost, which is profitable, with a loyal direct front page audience.” More here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
CPD Criticized For Leadership During Loop Violence
“Police sources told the Tribune that for much of the night there were no officers downtown who held the rank of lieutenant, which prohibited them from requesting more officers to assist… Ald. Brian Hopkins, 2nd Ward, told the Tribune earlier in the week that the police response to the downtown chaos was ‘inadequate,’ especially after similar gatherings in the days before… The police were understaffed and lacked clear leadership, he said. The department’s strategy was to contain and not directly confront the crowd for much of the night, Hopkins said… The department has since pledged to put forward additional resources, according to the president of the city’s tourism office. Apparently, similar gatherings of young people are being planned for this Saturday at Millennium Park and North Riverside Park Mall.” “It makes me feel scared. It terrifies me that people are either asleep at the wheel or that they’re willfully blind,” a witness told the Tribune.
DNC 2024 Protestors Line Up For Permits
Organizers say early preparations for Democratic National Convention protests “are meant to avoid the obstacles they faced under Mayor Rahm Emanuel ahead of the 2012 NATO Summit, but they expect a friendlier reception from Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson,” reports the Sun-Times. “Leaders of numerous progressive groups banding together as the Coalition to March on the DNC said… they’re lining up city permits now for protests aiming to bring thousands ‘within sight and sound’ of the party honchos in town to re-nominate President Joe Biden in the 2024 election.”
Contaminants Removed From Future Lincoln Yards Site
On pollutants removed from the Lincoln Yards site, reports CBS 2: “Well, we exceeded our budget, I’ll tell you that,” Matt Menna, managing principal at Sterling Bay told the channel. “He’s talking not just about the money, but the time, set aside for environmental remediation. His company… spent $10 million and five years removing pollutants left behind by an old steel mill,” especially lead and thirty-six underground storage tanks. ‘Some are 400 gallons… Some are 10,000 gallons, so the sizes mattered and what was in them mattered.’ In all, 27,000 tons of soil was sifted through and removed.” “We’re excited about one building but we’re more excited to get two or three more cranes in the air and get the momentum going,” Menna told CBS 2. A forthcoming road will enable the planned entertainment site on the property.
Jerry Adelmann Retiring As President-CEO Of Openlands
After thirty-five years of leadership at Openlands, Jerry Adelmann plans to step down from his role as president and CEO this year, the sixtieth anniversary of the organization. Openlands was founded in 1963 in response to a nationally recognized call for more natural and recreational open spaces in urban areas. More on Openlands here.
Bears Stadium In Arlington Heights Asks Unlikely Tax Gift
The Chicago Bears’ hope to have the state “subsidize the cost of their proposed new stadium complex in Arlington Heights” isn’t going anywhere now, reports Greg Hinz at Crain’s. “The team would have the chance to negotiate a flat payment to local governments in lieu of property taxes. Known as PILT, the team has hoped that a PILT subsidy would be an easier political sell than getting money from a tax-increment financing district, putting it in a better position to receive what easily could be tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks… It would allow the village of Arlington Heights to control the negotiated-fee process, effectively cutting out school districts, much to their dismay… It’s run into strong sentiment that, while subsidies to win a company here from Michigan or Indiana might make sense, throwing money at a company to move from one part of the state… to another is silly.”
After Killings, Tennessee Moves To Shield Gun Purveyors
“Republican lawmakers in Tennessee awarded final passage to a proposal that would further protect gun and ammunition dealers, manufacturers and sellers against lawsuits,” reports Associated Press. “The Senate’s 19-9 vote sends the bill to Republican Governor Bill Lee, despite pushback from Democratic lawmakers saying their GOP counterparts are trying to shield gun companies just weeks after the Nashville school shooting that killed six people, including three nine-year-olds.”
Florida Extends “Don’t Say Gay” Laws Through Twelfth Grade
Florida’s state education board has voted “to ban teaching students about sexual orientation and gender identity through high school, expanding the scope of a contentious state law that last year thrust Governor Ron DeSantis to the forefront of the cultural clash over classrooms,” reports CNN. “Teachers who violate the new state policy could be suspended or have their teaching licenses revoked.”
Louisiana Republicans Want Study Of Racism Banned
“Republican state officials in Louisiana ask lawmakers to ban the study of racism at universities, citing divisive ‘inglorious aspects’ of US history,” reports Insider.
Texas Republicans Intend To Create Another Court
“Bills being debated in the Texas Legislature would create two new statewide courts, which supporters say would be more efficient and lead to fairer decisions but opponents deride as unnecessary, politically motivated and potentially unconstitutional,” reports the Texas Tribune, which headlines their report, “Bills to create new Texas courts would likely reverse Democratic gains, restore GOP dominance.”
Ohio Senate Passes Resolution To Restrict Constitutional Amendments
“The Ohio Senate voted to pass Senate Joint Resolution 2, which would raise the threshold to pass constitutional amendments from fifty-percent to sixty-percent of the vote, making it more difficult for Ohio voters to amend the state constitution,” reports Democracy Docket. “Republican sponsors directly linked the impetus for the resolution to ongoing efforts to enshrine abortion rights in the Ohio Constitution and limit partisan gerrymandering. If enacted, S.J.R. 2 would make those efforts much less likely to succeed. As such, the resolution is part of a broader trend of Republican leaders taking steps to prevent the voters from enacting policy changes over their wishes.”
Florida Legislature Would Allow Lawsuits Against Local Governments That Remove Confederate Memorials
“A new Florida bill would make local governments financially liable for removing public statues. The ‘Historical Monuments and Memorials Protection Act’ would allow civilians to sue for three times the memorial’s repair or replacement cost,” reports Hyperallergic.
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