Logan Square Neighborhood Association | LISC/Chicago’s New Communities Program
QUALITY-OF-LIFE PLAN MAY 2005
LOGAN SQUARE: A Place to Stay, a Place to Grow
PLANNING TASK FORCE
Bruce Anderson 35th Ward Zoning Committee
Mark Kruse Hispanic Housing Development Corporation
Participants at community meeting
Noemi Avelar Humboldt Park Social Services
Teresa Lamberry Spanish Coalition for Housing
Leticia Barrera Logan Square Neighborhood Association
David Leeney First American Bank
Joanna Brown Logan Square Neighborhood Association
Paul Levin 35th Ward Office
Larry Bulak Liberty Bank for Savings
Miguel Luna Mozart Elementary School
Marta Bruno Mendoza
Michael Burton Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation
Rev. Charles Lyons Armitage Baptist Church
Mario Caballero Ames Middle School
Maribel Mata-Benedict FLAK Block Club
Lissette Castaneda St. Sylvester’s Church
Deborah McCoy Logan Square Cooperative
Ald. Rey Colon 35th Ward Alderman
John McDermott Logan Square Neighborhood Association
Lorraine Cruz Ames Middle School
Lucrecia Mejia St. Sylvester’s Church
Ashley Dearborn Armitage Baptist Church
Maricela Melecio Child Care Providers Association
Catherine Delgado Monroe Elementary School
James Menconi Monroe Elementary School
Jennifer DeLeon Zion Cristo Rey Lutheran Church
Michael Mendoza Logan Square Youth Council
Cece Drazek Economic Development Commission of Greater Logan Square
Joel Monarch Unity Park Advisory Council
Margarita Espino Funston Elementary School
Lissette Moreno-Kuri Logan Square Neighborhood Association
Dr. Liliana Evers Funston Elementary School
Maria Moyer Fifth Third Bank
Jeannette Feliciano McCormick Tribune Logan Square YMCA
Maribel Navarrette Bundle of Joy Home Day Care
Joyce Fernandes archi-treasures
Ofelia Navarro Spanish Coalition for Housing
Mark Fick Chicago Mutual Housing Network
Ald. Billy Ocasio 26th Ward Alderman
Omar Figueroa Humboldt Park Social Services
Tom Osgood Chicago Hope
Ald. Manuel Flores 1st Ward Alderman
Idida Perez Episcopal Church of the Advent
Dawn-Marie Galtieri aurorARTS alliance
Rod Port Armitage Baptist Church
Blanca Giron Brentano Math and Science Academy
Delia Ramirez Humboldt Park Social Services
Rev. Leo Gomez Our Lady of Grace Church
Lowell Rice Greater North Pulaski Development Corporation
Lucy Gomez-Feliciano Logan Square Neighborhood Association
Rosita de la Rosa Logan Square Neighborhood Association
Dr. Elizabeth Gonzalez Chase Middle School
Ricarda Ruiz Ames Middle School
Lilian Gonzalez Ames Middle School
Jesse Senechal Kelvyn Park High School
Maria Gonzalez St. Sylvester’s Church
Joan Sheforgen PrimeCare Community Health Center
Miguel Sotomayor Monroe Elementary School
Rev. John Graham Episcopal Church of the Advent
Kathy Tholin FLAK Block Club
Mike Gregory Armitage Baptist Church
Judith Torres Hispanic Housing Development Corporation
Rev. Michael Herman St. Sylvester’s Church (Task Force Chairman)
Sandra Vargas Logan Square Neighborhood Association
Tony Hernandez LaSalle Bank
Elsa Vazquez MidAmerica Bank
This list was compiled from sign-in sheets for planning meetings and
Valdemar Hernandez St. Sylvester’s Church
Dr. Georgette Watson Brentano Math and Science Academy
Rev. Anna Kari Johnson Zion Cristo Rey Lutheran Church
Rev. Pedro Windsor La Capilla del Barrio
Martha Juarez Monroe Elementary School
Sandra Zarinana Logan Square Youth Council
Silvia Gonzalez Monroe Elementary School
© 2005 LISC/Chicago
related activities and may not include all participants. Our apologies for any misspellings or omissions.
QUALITY-OF-LIFE PLAN : LOGAN SQUARE
CONTENTS SUMMARY Residents Seek Path to a Diverse Future 2
OUR COMMUNITY Neighborhood Faces Rapid Economic Change Lead Agency: Logan Square Neighborhood Association Planning Process: Building a Consensus for Action 6
VISION A Place to Stay, a Place to Grow 13
STRATEGIES Eight Steps to Achieve Our Vision 15
WORK PROGRAM Schedule and Lead Organizations 34
Residents Seek Path to a Diverse Future
Working families pursuing the American Dream are the focus of our plan.
Logan Square is on the move. But for many working families of this historic North Side neighborhood, the nagging question is whether they, too, must inevitably move. Or might it be possible to harness the mighty-but-mindless market forces moving west from the lakefront’s condo belt, and use those forces to weave a new type of community? If so, what kind of community? This quality-of-life plan envisions one that Chicago has produced all too rarely. It would be both stable and diverse, neither Gold Coast nor barrio—a place where families of all kinds, colors and classes would not simply coexist, but support one another as they pursue their own versions of the American dream.
Such a community would not be that different from
property tax reassessment, in 2003, imposed an average
historic Logan Square. This is a neighborhood born in the
increase of 76 percent. This in a neighborhood where, as of
scramble for affordable housing that followed the Great
Census 2000, fully one-third of renters devoted too much
Fire of 1871. Located beyond the city’s brick-only fireproof
of their income to rent.
zone, early Logan Square’s wooden two- and three-flats
The scale of the consequent displacement, if not the
were an affordable godsend to displaced German and
pain, is apparent in census tract 2216, which covers the
Scandinavian mill workers. After the city annexed the
20 blocks east of Western Avenue between Armitage and
neighborhood and enhanced it with broad boulevards and
Fullerton. During the 1990s, rents there doubled, home
public squares, merchants, managers and professionals
values tripled and 44 new units were added. Yet the tract’s
built dignified greystones and Queen Annes along Kedzie,
population fell by 15 percent, and the number of Latinos
Logan and Humboldt boulevards. This legacy of diversity,
and children dropped by half. As gentrification rolls west,
this mix of rich and not-so-rich, of English-speakers and
the implications are clear.
those who speak another tongue, has endured for more
No plan can stop this tide. Then again, no thoughtful
than a century. The accents heard along Milwaukee Avenue
planner would try. Fresh investment can be life’s blood to a
Elaborate mansions were built along the boulevards starting in the
were first Yiddish, then Polish, and most recently, Spanish.
healthy neighborhood. But there are ways to meld the old
All the while, a diverse yet stable Logan Square has
and the new, to make the tapestry more interesting rather
remained one of Chicago’s best examples of what an urban
than tear it apart, or worse, bleach it to monochrome.
neighborhood can be and do. The next wave may not be so benign. The gentrification
This is a plan to preserve diversity in Logan Square. More than 200 community representatives, work-
of Lincoln Park has jumped the Kennedy Expressway, first
ing through a task force led by the Logan Square
colonizing Bucktown, now bidding up real estate and rents
Neighborhood Association, were involved in its prepara-
as far west as Kedzie Avenue and beyond. The median
tion. Our vision for Logan Square is that it be a place to
price of all homes sold last year in Logan Square was
stay, and a place to grow.
more than $300,000, though Chicago magazine notes that single-family detached homes averaged $442,766. The last
STRATEGIES AND PROJECTS STRATEGY 1 Preserve and expand affordable housing. We will help organize tenants so that subsidized buildings stay subsidized after federal contracts expire. We will continue to organize for a citywide set-aside ordinance and expansion of Chicago’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Working with experienced community development corporations, we will create affordable housing for those ready to own, including limited-equity co-ops, and supportive housing for those with mental or physical impairments. Rental units will be affordable for area residents and large enough to accommodate families. We will establish a housing center to help families rent or buy, and a Legacy Project through which longtime owners can sell their property with the assurance that working families can continue to live there.
STRATEGY 2 Expand and improve parks and recreational programs, and create new community spaces. We will work with the Chicago Park District, park advisory councils and the Trust for Public Land to make expansion of Haas Park on Fullerton Avenue a replicable model for park expansion and improvement. Kosciuszko Park, our neighborhood’s largest, needs redesign and reinvestment to become an active recreational asset rather than a hangout. We will advocate for these and other elements of the city’s 2004 Open Space Plan for Logan Square. We will pursue opportunities such as new campus parks near schools, and development of a plaza and farmers’ market on CTA property at Logan Boulevard and Milwaukee Avenue. Also promising is a proposed linear park and bikeway atop the dormant Bloomingdale rail embankment, which forms the border between Logan Square and our sister community, Humboldt Park. STRATEGY 3 Improve and expand model community school programs, and foster educational opportunities for residents of all ages. Building on a 12-year track record of school-community partnerships, we will bring new cohorts into Nueva Generación, a model program that trains parent mentors as bi-lingual teachers. We will push to increase the community’s pre-school capacity. At the high school level, we will strengthen school-community relationships by involving students in local service projects and strengthening college preparatory curricula and college counseling services. To combat a very high student turnover rate at all our schools, we will support research, policies and programs to break the links among housing displacement, student mobility and poor academic performance.
STRATEGY 4 Revitalize key commercial corridors by working with elected officials, businesses and property owners. Although our three major commercial avenues have different problems and possibilities, all need coordinated planning and redevelopment. We propose a model redevelopment for portions of the Armitage corridor between Mozart Street and Hamlin Avenue, featuring new family-sized affordable rental housing above lively storefronts. To create thriving commercial corridors, while maintaining the scale and flavor of the community, we will study potential zoning changes, recruit new businesses and support streetscape and façade improvements along Fullerton, Armitage and Milwaukee avenues. STRATEGY 5 Support industrial retention and business development, and provide coordinated job training, job placement and financial education to community residents. We support efforts by local industrial groups to protect nearby factory and distribution jobs from displacement by residential lofts and other non-business uses. We will work with private and non-profit partners to create new jobs in burgeoning service industries such as health care, childcare and information services. We will collaborate with partners to create job training and placement services and develop entrepreneurial skills and opportunities. Equally important is the need for coordinated job placement services that link working families with income-support programs and financial education.
STRATEGY 6 Improve the health, safety and well being of Logan Square residents and families. Healthier lifestyles will be pursued in several ways with several partners, including Parent Mentor teams in the schools, Ayuda Mutua (Mutual Help) activities among block clubs, a swimming pool for the McCormick-Tribune YMCA, health-promotion efforts by employer groups and partnerships with the Chicago Park District. We will build on the work of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association Health Outreach Team to connect people to health insurance and services, improve access to local health care providers, and monitor patient billings as part of the region-wide Hospital Accountability Project. To reduce violence and high homicide rates in Chicago Police Districts 14 and 25, we will work with those districts on crime prevention and promote initiatives such as Safe Passage, in which residents and business owners watch out for children on their way to and from school.
STRATEGY 8 Build community leadership and enable all residents, young and old, citizen and non-citizen, to participate effectively in decisions affecting their lives. We will continue to cultivate and expand our circle of leadership, reaching out to young and old alike. On housing issues and projects, resident-led steering committees will set policy so that people, not profits, drive development. Immigrants, especially, will be asked to lead. No human being shall be considered “illegal,” and no resident of Logan Square shall be persecuted or denied basic human rights for lack of citizenship papers. We will organize the undocumented and pursue their access to education and employment, shelter and health care, and will work with the Consulate of Mexico to obtain passports and matriculas.
STRATEGY 7 Support local arts organizations, promote art activities and expand arts programming and cultural events. An expanded Logan Square Arts Coalition will help artists—both performing and visual—obtain more training, adequate workspaces and venues to reach the public. Other projects will include an on-line arts calendar and periodic art fairs at the new CTA plaza at Milwaukee and Kedzie avenues.
Neighborhood Faces Rapid Economic Change
Summary totals from Census 2000 barely hint at the
often doubling up with relatives, almost always stretching
powerful changes taking place in Logan Square, a densely
their paychecks. As of 2000, more than 12,000 of Logan
populated neighborhood at the inland heart of Chicago’s
Square’s 28,855 households were considered low-income,
thriving North Side. The community’s reported popula-
earning less than 80 percent of the city median, $38,625.
tion—82,715—grew hardly at all during the 1990s. Nor
Our community is home to more limited-income households
did its racial and ethnic makeup change much: roughly
than either Pilsen or Little Village, two neighborhoods
two-thirds Hispanic, one-quarter non-Hispanic white, and
often associated with the working poor.
just over 5 percent African-American. Behind these numbers is a dynamic story of change—of a community challenged to preserve a rich legacy of toler-
preceded them. They want job opportunities at living
ance and diversity or be overtaken by a market-driven
wages, a solid education for their children, and decent
monoculture that is open only to the affluent. Parents who
and affordable places to live.
were forced out of Lincoln Park as children now fear that
While church and community groups, especially the
Balanced housing development means ensuring that working families
their own children will feel that same pain as the market,
Logan Square Neighborhood Association, have worked
are not priced out of Logan Square.
once again, drives them out of their community.
wonders with schools, block clubs and daycare networks,
Viewed as a whole, Logan Square is still very diverse.
housing displacement continues to undermine community
Internally, however, an uneasy, east-to-west stratification
aspirations. How are teachers, even teachers reinforced
has evolved. During the 1980s and ‘90s, developers who
by parent mentors and home literacy visits, supposed to
were priced out of Lincoln Park first turned to Bucktown—
raise achievement levels when half their students move
the easternmost wedge of Logan Square, between the
every year? How should resources be allocated effectively
Kennedy Expressway and Western Avenue—and converted
between, say, Darwin School on the east side of the neigh-
the old German working-class neighborhood into an
borhood, where enrollment is plummeting as Latinos are
priced out, and Monroe School in west Logan Square,
At the other end, in the forest of densely packed brick two-flats and walk-ups west of Kedzie Avenue, large Latino families, many newly arrived in the U.S. or newly displaced from neighborhoods like Bucktown, are moving in,
Logan Square’s Spanish-speakers have aspirations not so different from those of the European immigrants who
where displaced families are crowding in and enrollments are soaring? Answers will not be found easily, but a place to start looking is Logan Square’s unique past.
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The land above North Avenue west of the Chicago River was farm country before the Civil War, though the plank
road that would become Milwaukee Avenue anticipated
building code that required all-brick construction. Lower
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Logan Square lay just beyond the reach of a safety-first
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The Great Fire of 1871 sparked the area’s trajectory
Railway, which laid tracks along the west bank during
communities. Back then, most of what would become
good supply of manufacturing jobs was assured by the
as one of Chicago’s most intensively developed bedroom
the area’s potential as a close-in residential location. A hard-working river and by the Chicago and Northwestern
A history of diversity
home prices and rents for its new wooden buildings, along with the new Milwaukee Avenue streetcars, and later, elevated train, were magnets for working families, many
newly arrived from central Europe and Scandinavia. Full annexation in 1889 was followed by installation of a grandiose park and boulevard system across Chicago’s
North and West Sides. This section of the city’s famed “emerald necklace” was designed by architect William Le Baron Jenney, better known for inventing the steel framing system that holds up skyscrapers. Jenney did not bless the neighborhood with a major
Figure 1 Northwest location near transportation
park, but he did create a set of magnificent boulevards that
Logan Square’s Northwest Side location is well served by transportation resources including the I-94 Kennedy
connect to Lincoln and Humboldt Parks. Each is 250 feet
Expressway and the CTA Blue Line train serving the Loop and O’Hare International Airport. Metra stations are located on the eastern and western borders of Logan Square.
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An early step in the planning process was an analysis of neighborhood issues.
Figure 2 Neighborhood issues
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wide, with space enough for three roadways (two service
There was never any mass abandonment of housing
lanes and a generous center carriage drive), each separated
in Logan Square, no widespread epidemic of fires or
by grassy medians and framed by stately elms and catalpas.
foreclosures. To the contrary, flower gardens and
The boulevards meet at a ceremonial square at Milwaukee
wrought-iron fences are far more evident than graffiti
and Kedzie—a Parisian-style traffic circle dominated by a
or broken glass, even on the poorest blocks. The absence
towering monument to Civil War General John A. Logan.
of blight is remarkable, given the age of the housing
The boulevards spurred another wave of develop-
stock, the persistent overcrowding, the large numbers
ment, this time by well-off immigrants, including flush
of low-income renters, and the fact that renters still
Milwaukee Avenue storekeepers, who ordered up elegant
outnumber owners by 2 to 1.
greystone mansions and brick two- and three-flats styled
Strong church, block and community groups, working
to look like single-family homes. In this interweaving of
with Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA),
economic and ethnic backgrounds, a local tradition was born.
have made a difference. From 1962, when residents and business owners formed LSNA to stop the Kennedy
New immigrants, new challenges
Expressway from cutting through the heart of Logan
Logan Square kept growing following World War I and
Square, through the 1970s, when LSNA fought redlining
by 1925 was built up border-to-border. Poles and Russian
and slum-lording, the neighborhood stuck together. In the
Jews moved in as many Germans and Scandinavians moved
last two decades, victories have ranged from the creation
up and out. By 1930 the population reached a teeming
of the Unity play lot to two new middle schools and four
114,174, with many Depression-era families doubling up
elementary-school annex buildings.
or moving into makeshift basement and attic apartments. Cramped conditions set the stage for the next great
Well maintained housing is one of Logan Square’s major assets.
But the larger story remains the enduring commitment of immigrants—then and now—to hard work, family,
migration, after World War II, when young families
religion and the American Dream. Can they continue
throughout the city bolted for the burgeoning suburbs.
to pursue that dream in Logan Square? The goal of this
Their places were taken, at first, by Puerto Rican fami-
plan—and of Logan Square Neighborhood Association—is
lies who moved into south Logan Square; and later, by
to ensure that the answer is yes.
immigrants from Mexico, Cuba and Central America who spread throughout the community. By 1980 Logan Square was half Hispanic; by 1990, two-thirds.
LEAD AGENCY LEAD AGENCY
Logan Square Neighborhood Association
“The New Communities Program is a
One of Chicago’s oldest and most successful community organizations, Logan Square Neighborhood Association
opportunity for hundreds of immigrant mothers, helping
(LSNA) has been at the center of community life since the
many develop the confidence and leadership skills needed
struggle to build a thriving, ethnically
organization began, in 1962. In at least one respect the
to launch careers outside the home. This multi-purpose
and economically diverse community.”
association provides a model for the New Communities
approach is typical of LSNA’s initiatives, from job training
Program (NCP): LSNA’s day-to-day work is guided by a
and retention to child care, from engaging youth to
Nancy Aardema, LSNA Executive Director
holistic plan, not unlike an NCP quality-of-life plan, which
organizing seniors, from promoting local artists to securing
is updated annually. The eleventh, most recent, holistic plan
more affordable housing.
natural fit. The partnership broadens our
aims to build and protect “an excellent place to live, work, play, raise children, run a business and worship.” At the center of LSNA’s work are programs that build a stronger community through stronger schools: The Parent Mentor program each year trains more than 100 parents as tutors in seven public schools.
The housing effort is especially crucial, because residential displacement undermines progress elsewhere. LSNA has partnered with Hispanic Housing Development Corporation and Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation to produce hundreds of affordable units for Logan Square. With the help of supportive aldermen, several for-profit developers have been persuaded to set aside affordable
Community Learning Centers at five schools provide
units in upscale developments. LSNA is a leader in the
English as a Second Language and GED instruction
citywide Balanced Development Coalition, which seeks to
for adults, along with childcare, tutoring and recreation
make affordable set-asides a matter of law.
for children. Literacy Ambassadors sends teams of teachers and parents on home visits to counsel parents on reading strategies and to build home-to-school bridges. Nueva Generación, in partnership with Chicago State University, trains parent mentors to become professional bi-lingual teachers and has become the model for a new statewide initiative.
These programs have opened new worlds of
The association succeeds by pitching a big tent for all stakeholders—a tent in which Spanish is spoken along with English. Its 50-person Members Action Council draws from schools, churches, block clubs, community agencies and businesses. Hundreds attend its annual membership Congress, at which issues are debated and voted upon.
Building a Consensus for Action
From the outset in early 2003, leadership at both LISC/
showing places they avoid because of gangs or traffic
Chicago and the Logan Square Neighborhood Association
hazards, and positive places—the schools, parks, churches
(LSNA) agreed that the New Communities Program (NCP)
and stores—that enrich our lives. Citizen-planners also
in Logan Square would reflect the spirit, mission and
listed their priorities on index cards. Like all planning
methods contained in LSNA’s holistic plan. NCP offered an
sessions, the meeting was conducted in both Spanish
opportunity to broaden both the scope of the holistic plan
and the coalition behind it. An NCP orientation meeting was held November 18,
The following month the core committee met again, and planning consultants from Camiros Ltd. summarized
2003, at Funston School. Nearly all the 30 community
the results of the earlier work. The committee then divided
representatives who attended the meeting committed to
into five focus areas: affordable housing; commercial
serving on the core committee of the Planning Task Force.
corridors; community facilities and open space; education
They also heard Rev. Michael Herman of St. Sylvester
and job training; and family services. In March 2004, these
Catholic Church, chair of the task force, explain how the
subcommittees, meeting at Armitage Baptist Church, discussed
Citizen-planners identified existing conditions and pinpointed problems
quality-of-life plan and LSNA’S holistic plan “would work
and developed a vision for their respective issue areas.
and opportunities to begin the planning process.
together in a complementary way.” On a cold Saturday in January 2004, more than 35
During the spring and summer of 2004, the subcommittees finalized their vision and began listing strategies and
leaders embarked on a bus tour and mapping exercise to
programs necessary to achieve it. Meanwhile, two Early
assess neighborhood conditions and pinpoint problems
Action Projects were begun. Taking advantage of a one-
and opportunities. The core committee split into teams.
time opportunity to expand Haas Park, LISC provided a
Each marked the neighborhood map with colored dots
pair of grants worth $55,000 to help the Trust for Public
Land fund a purchase option on a warehouse adjacent to
planning charrette on November 4, 2004, at Ames School.
the park. The Haas Park Advisory Council, LSNA and
At meeting’s end, 40 attendees were given 21 sticky dots
other local groups helped raise matching funds. Residents
and asked to “invest” them among scores of proposals
contributed amounts ranging from five dollars to $500.
listed on oversized flip charts. Low- and no-scoring
Liberty Bank for Savings gave $5,000, and the 1st Ward
proposals were eliminated, and heavily dotted proposals
Alderman’s Office contributed $10,000.
LSNA also obtained $20,000 from LISC to work with Greater North-Pulaski Development Corporation on
participated in the same investment process at a
a health and health insurance awareness campaign,
promoting programs such as KidCare and FamilyCare to employees in that industrial corridor. The core committee held a workshop on strategies and programs at Funston School in September, drafting what would become eight strategies and related programs, projects and organizing efforts. These were fine-tuned at a
About 100 parents from Logan Square schools
After eighteen months of thoughtful, collaborative work, our task force is proud to present this vision for a new Logan Square, along with strategies, programs and projects for achieving our vision. Task force members worked as a large group and on five sub-committees.
A Place to Stay, a Place to Grow
Our community has strong programs to involve parents in school improvement.
Logan Square is a place to stay and to grow. It is, above all, a place to grow healthy families—families secure that their homes are, and will continue to be, decent and affordable; families confident that their children are both physically safe and intellectually challenged in quality schools and pre-schools; families sustained by access to meaningful work at livable wages; families proud of their ethnic and cultural heritage, yet welcoming of the energy and diversity that newcomers bring to the mix. While Logan Square is a place to grow, ours will be a balanced and holistic growth that fosters true, rooted community for young and old, new immigrants and long-time residents alike.
Preserve Section 8 housing
Cooper Lamp building reuse
Area-wide initiatives Community school network Develop mentor programming
Create public market area
Partnership with the police and safe passage to school
Reuse of former library
Expand and redesign Haas Park
Preserve and develop affordable housing
Redevelop underutilized space along Armitage as commercial/residential mixed use Rethink Ames school athletic field
Eight Steps to Achieve Our Vision
Figure 3 Key projects of the plan The plan includes social, economic and physical projects to achieve the community’s vision.
The task force developed eight ambitious but achievable strategies. They will preserve our legacy of diversity, expand our opportunities for personal growth and advance Logan Square as a community where all can pursue their version of the American Dream. We pledge that the energy and thoughtfulness that went into envisioning these strategies will carry forward to the more challenging work of making them a reality. Our Strategies: 1. Preserve and expand affordable housing. 2. Expand and improve parks and recreational programs, and create new community spaces.
3. Improve and expand model community school programs, and foster educational opportunities for residents of all ages.
4. Revitalize key commercial corridors by working with elected officials, businesses and property owners.
5. Support industrial retention and business development, and provide coordinated job training, job placement and financial education to community residents.
6. Improve the health, safety and well being of Logan Square residents and families.
7. Support local arts organizations, promote art activities and expand arts programming and cultural events.
8. Build community leadership and enable all residents, young and old, citizen and non-citizen, to participate effectively in decisions affecting their lives.
Preserve and expand affordable housing.
No amount of neighborhood improvement will benefit people who can no longer afford to live in Logan Square.
the last five years alone, home prices in Logan Square have
Our success at turning neighborhood schools into centers
increased by 75 percent.
of community life, for instance, will be greatly undermined
A recent analysis of home-loan data by the Woodstock
if families who currently use and support those schools are
Institute shows dramatic change in both the volume of loans
forced by rising rents to move elsewhere.
and the profile of families buying homes in Logan Square.
The shortage of affordable and decent housing is a crisis
In 1990 there were 848 home loans reported. By 2002
throughout Chicago, but nowhere is the situation more
the number had risen to 3,706. As loan activity increased,
acute than in Logan Square. Census 2000 found that 30
the typical buyer profile shifted from moderate-income to
percent of renters here are cost-burdened, paying more than
upper-income families. In 1990, two-thirds of borrowers
35 percent of income in rent. Seventeen percent were cat-
ranked in the lowest or second-lowest income categories. By
egorized as extremely burdened, paying more than half their
2002, moderate-income buyers represented only 31 percent
income for housing.
of loan recipients. Buyers in the highest income category
Across the entire community area, rents increased by 38 percent during the 1990s, and median home values by 81
jumped from less than 13 percent to more than 42 percent. In a related study, “Who’s Buying Where,” dated
percent (see Figure 4, Median home value/median monthly
February 2002, the Woodstock Institute found that 19 of
rent). East of Milwaukee Avenue, along the knife’s edge of
Logan Square’s 29 census tracts were in rapid transition
displacement, demand for new condominiums and fancy
from a diverse mix of homebuyers to essentially upscale
rehabs is driving real estate prices out of sight. On these
blocks, the median value of single-family homes more
While we welcome the new residents who have been
than tripled between 1993 and 2002, and soaring real
drawn to our beautiful homes and diverse community,
estate taxes are forcing long-time homeowners to move.
we will dedicate ourselves to making sure our low- and
Rents more than doubled, forcing thousands of working
moderate-income families can continue to call Logan Square
families to move west, some to still-affordable rentals in
their home. This will require policies and programs that are
west Logan Square, others to more distant neighborhoods,
strong and multi-faceted.
such as Belmont-Cragin, or to Des Plaines and other inner-ring suburbs.
More recent data and local knowledge tell us that in
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Figure 4 Median home values and monthly rents Data from the 2000 Census show that housing is becoming less affordable for both owners and renters. Since the census, home values in Logan Square have increased another 75 percent. N/A Not applicable
$300,000 and up
Median home value
Median monthly rent
1.1 Work to preserve affordable rental housing.
buildings stay subsidized—and rents remain within
reach of low- and moderate-income families—as federal
based Section 8 buildings in Logan Square (see Figure 5,
Project-based Section 8 sites), including the Lorington
contracts expire. The city lists 730 apartments in project��������������
Apartments on Spaulding Avenue, where, with Hispanic Housing Development Corporation, we are trying to negotiate purchase to maintain affordability. We will continue to research the status of other Section 8 sites, identify owners and organize tenants. The Lathrop Homes, a Chicago Housing Authority
��������������� ����������� �������������
institutional relationships with the Lathrop community the CHA Plan for Transformation, Lathrop will undergo dramatic changes. We will work with residents and the
CHA to ensure that transformation at Lathrop meets
residents’ needs. Their goal, and ours, will be to minimize
Figure 5 Project-based Section 8 sites
River from Logan Square. LSNA has built strong and embraces its families as part of Logan Square. Under
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(CHA) public housing project, are across the Chicago
units. We will organize tenants so that subsidized
Logan Square is home to hundreds of subsidized housing
Logan Square contains 730 apartments in project-based Section 8 buildings. The Section 8 contracts are �������������� ��������������
�������� �������� �� displacement��and ensure that families who wish to stay ���� �� at a redeveloped��Lathrop will be encouraged, and helped, ���� ���� ���� to do so. ���� ��� ��� �� beginning to ���������� ����������
1.2 Establish a Logan Square housing center.
expire, threatening to displace low- and moderate-income residents.
rent or buy housing they can afford. This one-stop office
Police district facility
������ through the city’s Low-Income Housing Trust Fund or the ������
help senior-citizen property owners rent out empty units; connect ��homebuyers to affordable mortgages and educate ���
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instance, renters might get help obtaining housing subsidies federal rent voucher program. Center counselors also will
���� will help both apartment-seekers and landlords. For ����������� �����������
�� ���� ����� �� � ����� �� �� �� �
Section 8 housing
������������������ We will establish a housing center to help working families ������������������
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1.5 Start limited-equity housing cooperative projects.
and help to market new rental units that have been set
In partnership with a community development
aside by private developers for working families.
corporation (see Project 1.3), we will develop new housing
them about borrowing scams that can lead to foreclosure;
co-ops through the purchase of a large rental building or
1.3 Partner with community development corporations
buildings. We will perform moderate rehab, then sell
to build housing.
ownership shares to working families. Co-op residents
LSNA has not, by itself, built housing. But the associa-
will preserve equity and receive tax advantages; their shares
tion has decades of experience with the low- and moder-
would appreciate over time at a controlled rate, as opposed
ate-income families who constitute the potential market
to a market rate, to maintain affordability at resale.
for affordable housing. LSNA has a track record of successful collaboration with not-for profit developers
1.6 Develop supportive housing in Logan Square.
such as Hispanic Housing Development Corporation,
Logan Square has a limited number of shelter facilities
Neighborhood Housing Services and Bickerdike
for the homeless, and almost none with supportive services
Redevelopment Corporation. The worsening crisis requires
that can deal with such problems as addiction, AIDS
LSNA to take a more active role, such as partnering with
and mental illness. In partnership with experienced
Bickerdike on redevelopment of the run-down sections of
providers, such as Humboldt Park Social Services
Armitage Avenue around Funston School (see Strategy 4).
and Lakefront Supportive Housing, we will explore
Maintaining affordability of the area’s housing stock is a priority.
development of supportive housing, where residents can
1.4 Advocate for affordable set-aside units in new and substantially rehabbed market-rate housing developments.
receive appropriate services and prepare for employment and independent living.
As active participants in the citywide Balanced Development Coalition, we will continue to mobilize support for the
1.7 Establish the Logan Square Legacy Project.
Affordable Housing Set-Aside Ordinance. This mandates
Knowledge is power. Yet we often don’t know that
that 15 percent of units be set aside for affordable
an apartment building has been sold until a condo
homeownership in all new or substantially renovated
converter announces he or she has a contract to
buildings of more than 10 units, or that a compensating
purchase. A Legacy Project would canvass building
fee of $100,000 for every required affordable unit be paid
owners in advance, giving them the option to sell or lease
into the city’s Low-Income Housing Trust Fund. Until
to a not-for-profit that would, in turn, rent to working
mandatory set-asides are enacted, we will urge our aldermen
families. Several recent sellers have said they would have
to seek voluntary set-asides from private developers.
viewed such an offer favorably. A periodic canvass would
We will advocate for new policies, such as a condominium conversion policy, which could require a fee for conversion
also alert advocates to impending sales so they can track zoning changes and displacement issues.
of rental units and possibly cap the number of conversions in a particular year in a particular neighborhood.
Expand and improve parks and
With slightly more than 0.6 acres of public parks for
recreational programs, and create new
every thousand residents, Logan Square ranks among city
communities with the least open space. According to the
The city’s proposed linear park and bikeway atop the
1998 CitySpace report, some 99 new acres of parks would
dormant freight rail embankment at Bloomingdale
be needed just to reach the recommended minimum of two
Avenue (1800 North) offers an opportunity to enhance the
acres per thousand residents. These numbers prompted the
aesthetics and exercise opportunities along south Logan
city and the Chicago Park District to produce an ambitious
Square. Crucial will be the look and location of on- and
Logan Square Open Space Plan in July 2004. It proposes
off-ramps for bikers and hikers, and the placement of
several improvements that LSNA and its allies have long
pocket parks. This is a chance, also, to work with our
supported, such as expansion of Haas Park, and some new
sister community, Humboldt Park, which supports the trail
ideas, such as development of public spaces alongside and
in its own quality-of-life plan.
2.2 Support construction of the Bloomingdale Bike Trail
under the Kennedy Expressway. In general, we support the city’s plan and urge its timely implementation. Physical park improvements, however, won’t be
2.3 Work with park advisory councils to improve park facilities and programming.
enough to keep young people away from the call of gangs
Beginning with Kosciuszko Park, our largest, we will
and drug use. Nor will new trees and field houses, by
undertake a systematic review of park conditions and
themselves, end the isolation of seniors who are too afraid
programming, comparing what’s available with our
or infirm to use the parks. That will require thoughtful
community’s recreational needs. We will help advisory
programming, aggressive outreach and better coordination
councils recruit additional members and develop fresh ideas
among the parks, police and schools.
for each of our 13 parks—from tiny Neighbor’s Garden Park to Mozart Park to nine-acre Kosciuszko—so that all
2.1 Expand and improve Haas Park.
are monitored by a group of citizens steeped in park issues
We will continue to work with the Chicago Park District,
park advisory councils, the 1st Ward alderman and the Trust for Public Land to make expansion of Haas Park,
2.4 Construct small playgrounds and gardens on
at Fullerton and California avenues, a replicable model
for park expansion and improvement across the city.
Logan Square has but a handful of vacant city-owned lots,
The trust’s recent purchase of an adjacent warehouse
but here and there are opportunities to chip away at our
makes it imperative that the Chicago Park District
open-space deficit by developing gardens and play lots.
follow through with funding for additional land, closure
One possibility is an underutilized lot at St. Sylvester’s
of Fairfield Avenue and construction of a new field house
School, across from Palmer Square, where parish leaders
and other improvements.
are working with the national KaBOOM! organization to raise funds and recruit volunteers for a day-long park-raising.
2.5 Support creation of a multi-use plaza on Chicago Transit Authority property off Logan Square. Just south of the Logan Square monument, alongside Milwaukee Avenue where the Blue Line descends into a subway tunnel, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) owns a half-acre that could be much, much more than the existing parking lot and open railway cut. We will work with the city, CTA and groups such as Logan Square Walks, Logan Square Preservation and the aurorARTS alliance to obtain funding for a landscaped, half-acre public plaza that in summertime could double as a farmers’ market and Latino-themed art fair, or feria.
2.6 Rethink and reconfigure the Ames School athletic field. One of the public open spaces in southwest Logan Square is the expansive athletic field in front of Ames Middle School, at Armitage and Hamlin Avenues. Despite the best efforts of Ames School leadership, this space is underutilized due to a lack of maintenance funding. We will engage school, park and police leadership in rethinking, and possibly reprogramming, this space. The Chicago Park District’s Campus Park program will be reviewed as a funding alternative.
2.7 Support renovation of the West Park Commission Comfort Station on Logan Square.
Figure 6 Bloomingdale bike trail Conversion of the abandoned Bloomindale rail line would create a major greenway and recreational facility for residents of Logan Square and Humboldt Park. The trail would also help address the neighborhood’s documented need for more open space.
With 600 square feet of interior space, this building on the east side of the square at Milwaukee and Logan can be converted from equipment storage to an information center, historical display and small meeting space for neighborhood groups. Logan Square Preservation is leading the effort to return this historic gem to more constructive public use.
Improve and expand model community
The Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) is
jobs. We will expand beyond the eight current programs
school programs, and foster educational
a national leader in the sophisticated work of building
to at least two more Logan Square schools, and
opportunities for residents of all ages.
community schools—schools that are intimately tied to
recommend expansion statewide—wherever low-income
their communities and are centers of community. LSNA’s
schools and their communities could benefit from
pioneering initiatives—including the Parent Mentor and
greater parent involvement.
Literacy Ambassadors programs and the school-based student achievement levels but also opened new worlds of
3.2 Build upon school-based Community Learning Centers.
opportunity for immigrant and other low-income mothers,
Starting in 1996, Community Learning Centers (CLC)
helping them develop the confidence and leadership skills
have proven their worth in five of our schools—Funston,
to pursue their dreams of education and work. Parents are
Monroe, Mozart, Schneider and Ames. For adults, the
everywhere in LSNA schools, sharing their language and
centers offer evening GED classes and English as a
culture, their social and tutoring skills and, of course, their
Second Language instruction; childcare, tutoring and
love for children. We will work to educate others, locally
activities for children are also available. More than 1,000
and nationally, about the value of the LSNA community-
adults attend in an average week, 600 of them for
school model for student achievement, community
English-language classes. LSNA partners with institutions
development and family success.
within Logan Square, such as the aurorARTS alliance, and
Community Learning Centers—have not only raised
Much remains to be done. While our grade-school
outside the community, such as Malcolm X College, the
achievement scores are steadily improving, in 2004 fewer
Chicago Children’s Museum and the Family Institute at
than one-third of seventh graders at Ames Middle School
Northwestern University. In this way, families can attend
met state achievement standards on the ISAT test. At
programs that would not otherwise be easily accessible.
Kelvyn Park High School just west of our community,
The Community Learning Centers will be expanded to
where a majority of Logan Square students attend high
provide advanced instruction for literacy tutors and parent
school, one in five students drops out every year. Only 15
mentors, comprehensive summer programming, new arts
percent of juniors meet state standards for reading, and less
activities and citizenship classes. We will also expand the
than 5 percent for math.
centers’ scope to include job training and financial literacy
Most immediately, we must better understand the problem of student turnover, or mobility, in the K-12 years, and develop
programs to increase the economic resiliency of our families (see Strategy 5).
a plan to attack it. If high student turnover is not addressed, it will undermine progress on other educational issues.
3.3 Enhance the Literacy Ambassadors program. Beginning in 2003, some 35 teams of teachers and parents
3.1 Expand the Parent Mentor program.
in five schools have been holding house meetings on literacy.
Since 1995 this program has hired and trained more than
They help parents devise reading strategies and build
1,000 parents, mostly immigrant mothers, to tutor students
bridges from school to home. We hope to expand Literacy
for two hours a day in several Logan Square public grade
Ambassadors to two more schools and strengthen the
schools. Most tutors go on to further schooling or full-time
program’s innovative lending libraries for parents.
Meanwhile, our Community Learning Centers will
LSNA’s newest parent initiative, a federally funded
continue to train childcare workers to offer age-appropriate
Americorps pilot program, places experienced parent men-
activities in a literacy-rich environment. These centers
tors in schools to tutor children intensively. Now in three
currently offer the only pre-school opportunities available
schools, this program will expand to five in 2005-06. The
to many children.
impact of these skilled and trained parents is being tracked, in hopes that their success will inspire a national program.
3.4 Develop the Parents as Tutors program.
With our partners, we also will research the need for, and feasibility of, a new pre-school program, perhaps located at the old library branch building on Altgeld Street.
3.5 Expand high school service learning opportunities. LSNA will expand its partnership with Kelvyn Park
3.8 Improve access to computers at local schools,
High School, whose students do their service learning as
the new public library and other public spaces.
tutors in our Community Learning Centers, and where
Digital literacy is a key to future employability. Yet our
we are collaborating on an innovative freshman social
schools are under-equipped, and many of our families
justice curriculum. We will also seek funding to re-start a
cannot afford the latest computers, much less broadband
Pre-school programs are crucial to future academic success, but more
successful attendance program in which parents work
technology, in their homes. We will survey needs and create
are needed to meet the demand in Logan Square.
with truant students.
a plan to ensure adequate computer equipment and space
3.6 Continue the Grow Our Own Teachers program.
at our schools, at the new public library at Sacramento and
the students leave or arrive during any given school year.
Fullerton avenues and at other locations.
Mobility affects everyone, from teachers who have to spend
We will start a second cohort of students in our Nueva
valuable time helping newly arrived students catch up, to
Generación (New Generation) program, which has 30
3.9 Improve opportunities for high school students
students who must adjust to a new school environment. It
parents in the fifth year of studying to be bilingual
to advance to college.
affects school-improvement efforts—teachers cannot build
teachers. As part of the Chicago Learning Campaign,
Too few of our high school graduates are prepared for,
upon each others’ work because so few students remain
we will continue to advocate for a statewide Grow Our
aware of or motivated to pursue college opportunities.
from year to year. The community suffers when active
Own program based on this highly successful collaboration
In a world where education increasingly predicts success,
families move away and no longer participate in creating
with Chicago State University.
this must change. We will work with local high schools to
safe, family-friendly and culturally sensitive schools.
strengthen college preparatory curricula and to improve
Housing displacement may be the root cause, yet
3.7 Expand pre-kindergarten and Head Start programs,
college counseling. We also will utilize the new state law
we know too little about the phenomenon to propose
and develop a new pre-school.
that allows undocumented students to pay lower in-state
strategies and programs to address it. A broad but detailed
Pre-school programs are crucial to academic success, yet
tuition at Illinois colleges.
survey is needed to provide comparative data on the causes
there are too few slots at our pre-school centers—waiting
and effects of student mobility. Armed with accurate data,
lists of 80 to 100 families are common—and providers
3.10 Commission research on school mobility in
we will advocate for solutions, which may include the
are poorly coordinated. We will work with our schools,
liberalization of school attendance boundaries.
Christopher House, the YMCA and YWCA, along with
The debilitating problem of student mobility, or high
allies such as State Senator Miguel del Valle, to improve
student turnover rates, threatens to undermine all the
the adequacy and efficiency of these vital programs.
projects outlined above. At several schools, more than half
Revitalize and redevelop key commercial
Our three major commercial avenues have different problems
corridors by working with elected
and possibilities, yet all need coordinated planning and
of the community’s $868 million total retail spending,
officials, businesses and property owners.
redevelopment, plus a more thoughtful and proactive use
according to the market research firm MetroEdge. But we
of tax increment financing. Also, each of these streets could
must be prepared to compete with big-box discounters,
take fuller advantage of the pedestrian traffic generated by
such as the Wal-Mart recently proposed for a neighborhood
the nearby Blue Line el stations.
to the west.
Logan Square stores capture a lion’s share (90 percent)
Milwaukee Avenue is Logan Square’s bustling downtown, with an eclectic mix of stores, professional offices and
4.1 Pursue school-to-school housing and retail
entertainment venues. Future investments in this commercial
redevelopment on Armitage Avenue.
district should reflect its current streetwall of two- to four-
In cooperation with local aldermen, we will partner with
story buildings with active retail and other nonresidential
Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation to revitalize one or
uses on the ground floor and residential uses above.
more blocks in the Armitage Avenue corridor, from Ames
Fullerton, with its generous street and sidewalk widths,
Middle School at Hamlin Avenue on the west, past Funston
continues to have retail opportunity, but it is not a
School to Mozart Street on the east. Envisioned for Phase
continuous retail pedestrian street. Areas of pedestrian-type
One are 70 units of affordable family rental housing above
commercial use are interspersed with drive-through banking
a lively ensemble of stores and restaurants. The commercial
and purely institutional buildings. New development should
tenants would include, but not be limited to, smaller,
concentrate retail uses at major intersections. Armitage, with its narrow width and hodgepodge of uses – from used car lots to liquor and tobacco stores – is a tougher case. There, an ambitious redevelopment plan is warranted. Over time, the street’s underutilized land and
Figure 7 Armitage Avenue “school to school” housing initiative
buildings could recycle into housing that is in scale with
Armitage Avenue offers a number of opportunities
other neighborhood residential uses.
to develop new housing. Depending on the size of the site and adjacent land-use mix, new residential developments could be configured in �several ways. Exact locations will depend ��� �� availability of sites and public policy. �� �� �� �
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locally owned businesses. Special assistance will be available for any owner who would otherwise be displaced.
4.2 Study potential zoning changes to encourage mixed-use projects. Developers chasing the booming market for luxury condos are taking advantage of permissive zoning along commercial streets, installing enormous condo buildings that are out of scale with the neighborhood and are changing the character of our shopping districts. We will work with our aldermen, and the committee now redrawing zoning throughout the city, to protect commercial zoning along key streets and intersections. Everywhere our efforts should encourage small, locally owned stores and inviting, pedestrian-friendly streetscapes.
4.3 Recruit badly needed businesses and services. Our commercial districts are long on cell-phone stores and resale shops, but short on other products and services needed by a revitalizing community. We will work with the Economic Development Commission to conduct surveys and focus groups with residents to learn what other businesses they would like to see in Logan Square and then recruit these businesses. Some early favorites: a business-service store, such as Fed Ex Kinko’s, and a
Figure 8 Armitage Avenue infill development
full-service bank in western Logan Square. We could also
Infill development along Armitage could improve the look and pedestrian quality of the street and provide
use more quality daycare and pre-school providers.
opportunities for new affordable housing. This drawing is for illustrative purposes only. No specific plans for
4.4 Support streetscape and façade improvements
this corner have been discussed.
along Fullerton, Armitage and Milwaukee avenues. If our commercial corridors are going to better serve our community and attract new investment, they must look attractive. Public investment in streetscape and building façade improvements can spur commercial investment and draw more residents and visitors. We will work with local aldermen, chambers of commerce and business owners to encourage such improvements. 25
Support industrial retention and
Logan Square is predominantly residential, yet it is
business development, and provide
and warehouse districts. Centered on Elston and Pulaski
flanked east and west by two extensive manufacturing
coordinated job training, job
avenues, these provide thousands of living-wage jobs to
placement and financial education
breadwinners across the North Side. Both the North Branch
for community residents.
encroaching residential development and the conversion of
(Elston) and Pulaski industrial corridors are threatened by viable industrial buildings to loft-style condos. Even as we move to protect what industry remains, it is evident that most new job opportunities will be in services, from foodservice and hospitality to media services and information management. Data collected by the Illinois Department of Employment Security show that our largest job category is administration and support, accounting for one-fifth of the 15,034 jobs reported in 2003 within ZIP code 60647. It is imperative to help our workforce develop the skills to compete in a global, twenty-first century economy. Equally important is the need for coordinated job
The Cooper Lamp building has the potential to anchor the business and industrial corridor on the community’s east end.
5.1 Expand Community Learning Centers to provide coordinated employment services and financial education. LSNA’s five Community Learning Centers serve hundreds
placement services that link working families with
of adults each day. We will build on this success by
income-support programs and financial education. LSNA’s
coordinating new partnerships to provide job training,
Parent Mentor program and its Community Learning
job placement and financial literacy services. We will
Centers are already providing job preparation and
look to the Centers for Working Families model developed
placement services, from ESL classes to job fairs. LEED
by LISC/Chicago and the Annie E. Casey Foundation as
Council and Greater North-Pulaski Development
a framework for building the financial strength and
Corporation also provide job training and placement
resiliency of our working residents. Potential partners
services. We will combine and redouble our efforts to
include the Chicago Interfaith Committee on Workers
prepare our workforce.
Issues, Greater North-Pulaski Development Corporation (GNPDC), and the Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Council.
5.2 Assist local entrepreneurs with training and business development. Small businesses produce the vast majority of new jobs,
Institute for Entrepreneurship Education and Park National Bank, we will connect entrepreneurs to training, technical
protect manufacturing jobs. Along with GNPDC, LEED Council, the Island Block Club and workers themselves, we will organize and advocate for industrial retention. To the west, we will support a Planned Manufacturing District (PMD) along the Pulaski Corridor to prevent other uses from encroaching on local industrial companies. To the east, where residential loft conversions are hottest, we will urge that business tenants be recruited for anchor buildings such as Cooper Lamp at 2533 W. Diversey Avenue. We will seek out manufacturers isolated in newly residential areas and help them relocate, if desired, to industrial corridors on Elston Avenue or Pulaski Road.
assistance and loan programs.
5.3 Work with local industrial councils and others to
With partners such as GNPDC, LEED Council, the Illinois
and our post-industrial economy rewards innovative ideas.
Figure 9 TIF districts and commercial corridors Logan Square is served by active commercial and industrial corridors that provide jobs and retail goods and services. Tax increment financing districts that are already in place or proposed can provide funding to support economic development and job training initiatives.
Improve the health, safety and well being
Our community ranks in the middle range of Chicago
6.1 Initiate a Healthier People/Healthier Workforce program.
of Logan Square residents and families.
neighborhoods on most health indicators, but death rates
With the Greater North-Pulaski Development Corporation,
from heart disease, cirrhosis, respiratory diseases and HIV
we have launched a Healthier People/Healthier Workforce
are well above citywide averages. We need more exercise,
program as an Early Action Project to educate employers
smarter diets and fewer bad habits.
and employees on health issues, including how to obtain
Beyond personal health strategies, Logan Square needs
KidCare, FamilyCare and other public benefits.
better access to quality health services. Since 2001, LSNA’s Health Outreach Team has connected more than 2,500
6.2 Continue to expand health and nutrition programs.
people per year to health insurance and services, yet large
With partners such as the North Central District Health
numbers of uninsured mothers still have difficulty
Council, the Gilead Project and the Illinois Coalition for
obtaining the pre-natal, obstetric and pediatric care needed
Immigrants and Refugee Rights, we will continue and
to raise healthy children. Ours ranks among the bottom
expand health and nutrition programs such as Health
third of Chicago’s 77 communities for high rates of teenage
Promoters; cooking and nutrition classes at LSNA’s
births and insufficient prenatal care.
Community Learning Centers; and Ayuda Mutua
Access to quality health care requires that hospitals treat patients with respect and fairness. We will help
(Mutual Help), which works with block clubs to promote gardening, walking, biking and dancing.
monitor patient billings as part of the region-wide Hospital Accountability Project initiated in 2003 by the Service
6.3 Expand PrimeCare, a full-service health clinic in
Employees International Union (SEIU.) If hospitals are
discovered to be gouging our uninsured and under-insured
PrimeCare Community Health Center provides quality
residents, we will join efforts to improve billing practices or
medical services on a sliding-fee scale to the working
eliminate hospitals’ non-profit tax status.
families of Logan Square. More could be offered, and
Violence is also a health issue in Logan Square. We are
could be expanded or replaced with a larger one at another
occurred during 2004 in Chicago Police Districts 14 and
location. We will work with PrimeCare and other allies to
25. When in February 2004 the Chicago Tribune labeled
make this happen.
one of our patrol areas, 1413, the city’s deadliest police beat, we became determined to do something about it.
more served, if its building at 3924 W. Fullerton Avenue
outraged by the 46 homicides—most gang-related—that
6.7 Make Logan Square a safe place to bike and walk.
schools, facilities and parks.
Young people, especially, need to get off their couches,
Needed most are after-school programs and leagues to
put down their video games and start walking and
engage adolescents and teenagers, especially those with
biking. Yet Logan Square is a dense, traffic-intensive
working parents and time on their hands after 3 P.M. We
community. Several initiatives to improve this situation
will work with our school and park networks to increase
are in the works, including more dedicated bike lanes near
and promote healthful activities. We will also work with
parks and schools; a Walk-to-School campaign; and a
the McCormick Tribune YMCA in Logan Square to add
traffic-calming initiative around the Logan Square monu-
a badly needed indoor swimming pool at the Y at 1834
ment, led by Logan Square Walks. With the Chicagoland
N. Lawndale Avenue. There is potential there, too, for an
Bicycle Federation and Afterschool Matters, Logan Square
outdoor amenity, perhaps in conjunction with the proposed
Neighborhood Association (LSNA) has helped start a
bicycle repair and safety program at Ames Middle School.
6.4 Expand physical fitness and sports programs at
Some 25 young people will learn how to repair, and safely
6.5 Improve access to mental health services, addiction
ride, bicycles through this 16-week program. Graduates
Logan Square can be a safer place to walk and bike with the addition
counseling and dental care.
will get their own bikes and a chance to work as Junior
of more dedicated bike lanes near parks and schools.
Our residents, especially Spanish-speaking immigrants,
Bike Ambassadors during the summer months.
have limited access to mental health services and to counseling for addiction to alcohol, tobacco and other
6.8 Form new block clubs to take on health and safety
drugs. Working with Humboldt Park Social Services and
other partners, we will foster creation of an addiction
LSNA’s experience has proved that strong block clubs
recovery center and a family counseling service capable
increase the safety and cohesiveness of a neighborhood—
of dealing with domestic abuse.
and even of a single apartment building. Block clubs could
Working with PrimeCare and the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago, we will seek funding for, and work to establish,
also promote healthier lifestyles—for example, with help from the Active Living by Design (Ayuda Mutua) program.
a low-cost, community-based dental clinic or referral service.
6.9 Increase participation in crime prevention strategies. 6.6 Help young people make healthy lifestyle choices
The rash of gang violence over the past two years under-
through a community-wide effort.
scores the need to redouble efforts to make Logan Square
The area around Ames, Funston and Mozart schools offers
a safer community. We will partner with Chicago Police
many temptations that lead young people to drugs and
Districts 14 and 25 on crime prevention, participating
alcohol. It is the goal of the community to stop drug
actively in the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS)
dealing and gang recruiting in the area around the schools,
community policing initiative, and supporting the Safe
especially at dismissal time. Parents want to ensure that
Passage initiative, in which residents and business owners
local businesses do not sell tobacco or alcohol to minors.
watch out for children on their way to and from school. To
We will also provide training in alcohol, tobacco and other
check progress and rally public support, we will co-sponsor
drug prevention to students at Ames Middle School.
an annual School Safety Summit.
Support local arts organizations,
Art helps define a community. It expresses our collective
promote art activities and expand arts
identity and can be a powerful tool for community build-
programming and cultural events.
Square and at the same time provide the psychological
ing. Art can draw attention to the diversity of Logan benefits of self-expression and self-esteem. Throughout the New Communities Program planning process, Logan Square residents consistently conveyed their love of the arts and their desire for more arts activities and experiences. While Logan Square has a strong history of support for community art, from Redmoon Theater to graffiti artists, local arts organizations face several challenges. There is a need for greater coordination and promotion of art activities. Finding space has been a challenge. Though some organizations thrive through partnerships with under-utilized
Art helps the community express our collective identity and is a
facilities such as churches, planning is needed to integrate
powerful tool for community building.
the arts into our public spaces and provide permanent homes for arts groups. The community has expressed a
7.2 Expand arts programming in our Community
desire for more arts education for all ages, and support for
a vision: to transform urban landscapes with public art.
The arts allow people of all ages to tell their individual and community stories. By partnering with Redmoon
7.1 Identify suitable workspace and buildings for lease
Theater and other organizations to offer more arts
or purchase by artists and arts organizations.
education in our Community Learning Centers, we will
With partners such as aurorARTS alliance and Logan
strengthen educational opportunities and generate art that
Square Preservation, we will identify under-used spaces
mirrors our neighborhood.
throughout the community—in churches or other facilities—and connect them with artists and arts
7.3 Strengthen the Logan Square Arts Council.
organizations that need space. To attract larger arts
The council will step up as our primary arts networking
organizations and to keep growing arts organizations
and advertising mechanism, developing an arts calendar and
in the community, we will identify buildings that can be
possibly a web site to promote cultural events and venues
leased or bought by mid- to large-sized arts organizations.
in Logan Square, and creating internal communication channels to promote current and new arts initiatives.
7.4 Undertake public art projects. The proposed half-acre plaza southeast of the Logan monument at Milwaukee and Logan (see Project 2.5) will have space for periodic art fairs, or ferias, that will celebrate the arts in Logan Square. On the northwestern side of the square at Milwaukee and Kedzie, a mural project led by archi-treasures will celebrate the diverse Logan Square community and our vision for the future. Other public art projects will occur throughout the community, with help from the organization Public Allies.
7.5 Establish a cultural center to serve as the hub of arts activities. Many members of the community expressed the desire for a cultural arts center in Logan Square. It would provide a hub for arts activities and experiences, supporting smaller arts activities while also offering a high-profile exhibition and performance venue. Logan Square Preservation, aurorARTS alliance and other arts organizations will examine potential sites and take the lead on creating this new center.
Figure 10 Plaza for farmers market, art festivals A festival plaza along Milwaukee Avenue near Logan Boulevard, next to the CTA tunnel entrance, could be used by vendors selling produce, art, ethnic goods and other products.
Build community leadership and enable
The best of plans will have little impact unless we build
all residents, young and old, citizen and
the power to implement them. New leaders must step up
non-citizen, to participate effectively in
(financial and political) to make change happen. We will
decisions affecting their lives.
to mobilize community support and forge the partnerships continue to cultivate and expand our circle of leadership, reaching out to the young and the old, whose energy and wisdom are so vital to our plan’s success. In a community where nearly 30 percent are foreign born, we will continue to guard and advance the rights of immigrants.
8.1 Strengthen institutional ties, and build new relationships to advance the plan. We will reach out to institutions and leaders who have not yet been involved in this planning effort, engaging
English as a Second Language and citizenship classes in our
the unaware, the disinterested and the disaffected. We
Community Learning Centers can help immigrants better understand
will encourage all to add their perspective—their colorful
the rights and duties of citizenship.
stitches—to our tapestry.
8.3 Help immigrants obtain services and certifications 8.2 Organize to protect and advance the rights of
needed for citizenship.
The continued presence and success of immigrants is
Immigrants, especially, will be summoned to lead. No
essential to preserving the legacy of diversity in Logan
human being shall be considered “illegal,” and no resident
Square. We will work with the Consulate of Mexico
of Logan Square shall be persecuted or denied basic human
and others to obtain passports and matriculas needed
rights for lack of citizenship papers. In partnership with the
by immigrants to establish credit and participate fully in
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, we
the economy. In the long term, we will continue English as
will organize the undocumented and pursue their access to
a Second Language instruction in the Community Learning
employment, decent and affordable housing and the same
Centers and help immigrants come to a fuller understanding
human rights afforded all by the U.S. Constitution.
of the rights and duties of citizenship and to navigate the naturalization process. We will hold citizenship classes at Community Learning Centers and other locations to educate residents on the importance of becoming active citizens.
8.6 Expand voter registration efforts.
The Logan Square Youth Council develops young leaders
We registered more than 600 new voters in the Logan
and steers teens away from drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
Square area and helped turn out more than 4,000 “unlikely”
These efforts will be strengthened, as will youth leadership
voters in the November 2004 presidential election. Still,
on other issues that affect the community—from affordable
our 26th and 35th wards cast fewer than 15,000 votes
housing to the preponderance of military recruiters over
each, compared to 25,000 or more cast by better-organized
college recruiters in our high schools. Our youth will be
city wards. We need to do more. Non-participation in the
enabled to see a positive future for themselves and to reject
political process will deprive our neighborhood of badly
the way of street gangs—a way that leads, for too many, to
needed government resources, from city jobs to pothole
prison or the morgue.
repairs. We will help get out the vote. !Registrese y vote!
8.4 Organize young people to have a voice in their future.
8.5 Connect young and old, organize seniors and help them get needed services. We will ensure that seniors have the support and services
Our youth will be enabled to see a positive future for themselves and
they need to live full, safe and healthy lives. We will involve
encouraged to become community leaders.
seniors in the leadership programs of LSNA; advocate for a pedestrian-friendly community through Logan Square Walks; and foster intergenerational activities, including oral histories, arts, block clubs, safety efforts and civic projects such as the mural at Milwaukee and Kedzie (see Strategy 7.5).
Key to Participating Organizations
Many organizations have pledged to implement the projects in our
Church of the Good News CGN
Logan Square Preservation LSP
quality-of-life plan. They include but are not limited to:
College Summit CS
Logan Square Walks LSW
Community Learning Centers CLC
Logan Square Youth Council LSYC
1st Ward Aldermanic Office
Malcolm X College MXC
Economic Development Commission of Greater Logan Square EDC
Advancement Via Individual Determination AVID
Episcopal Church of the Advent ECA
Monroe Elementary School
Erie Neighborhood House ENH
Ames Middle School Ames
Family Institute at Northwestern University FINU
New Communities Covenant Church NCCC
Ames Middle School GEAR-UP program Ames GEAR-UP
Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail FBT
Fullerton Avenue Chamber of Commerce FACC
North Central District Health Council NCDHC
Armitage Avenue Chamber of Commerce AACC
North Grand High School
aurorARTS alliance AAA
Greater North-Pulaski Development Corporation GNPDC
Nuestra Señora de las Americas Church NSAC
Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation BRC
Haas Park Advisory Council HPAC
Old Town School of Folk Music OTS
Brentano Math and Science Academy
Health Alternative Systems HAS
One Economy Corporation OEC
Casa Ruth CR
Hispanic Housing Development Corporation HHDC
Park National Bank PNB
Centro San Bonifacio CSB
Humboldt Park Social Services HPSS
Political advisory committees
Chicago Children’s Museum CCM
Humboldt Park Vocational Center HPVC
Chicago Community Development Corporation CCDC
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights ICIRR
Public Allies PA
Chicago Interfaith Committee on Workers’ Issues CICWI
Illinois Institute for Entrepreneur Education IIEE
Chicago Mutual Housing Network CMHN
Island Block Club IBC
Chicago Park District CPD
Kelvyn Park High School
St. Sylvester Church and School SSCS
Chicago Park District Advisory Councils CPD councils
Lathrop Homes Local Advisory Council Lathrop LAC
Target Community Organization TCO
Chicago Police Department District 14 Dist. 14
Local Economic and Employment Development Council LEED Council
Trust for Public Land TPL
Chicago Police Department District 25 Dist. 25
Logan-Sacramento-Richmond-Altgeld Block Club LSRA
University of Illinois at Chicago UIC
Chicago Public Schools CPS
Logan Square Arts Council LSAC
Westtown Concerned Citizens WCC
Chicago Public Schools Office of Postsecondary Options CPS-OPO
Logan Square Branch Library LSBL
Chicago State University CSU
Logan Square Neighborhood Association LSNA
Chicagoland Bicycle Federation CBF
Logan Square Neighborhood Association Reinvestment Coalition LSNARC
Zoning advisory committees
Christopher House CH
Logan Square Parks Alliance LSPA
Schedule and Priorities STRATEGY
TIMEFRAME (YEARS) 1
ORGANIZATIONS LEAD ORGANIZATION
1. PRESERVE AND EXPAND AFFORDABLE HOUSING. 1.1
Work to preserve affordable rental housing.
LSNA, HHDC, BRC, CCDC, CMHN,
Establish a Logan Square housing center.
Partner with community development organizations to build housing.
LSNA, BRC, HHDC
Advocate for affordable set-aside units in new and substantially rehabbed market-rate housing developments.
Start limited-equity housing cooperative projects.
LSNA, BRC, CMHN
Develop supportive housing in Logan Square.
Establish the Logan Square Legacy Project.
CGN, Lathrop LAC, Schneider
2. EXPAND AND IMPROVE PARKS AND RECREATION PROGRAMS, AND CREATE NEW COMMUNITY SPACES. 2.1
Expand and improve Haas Park.
TPL, CPD, HPAC, LSRA, 1st Ward, AAA, FACC, LSNA
Support construction of the Bloomingdale Bike Trail and Greenway.
CPD, FBT, LSNA, BRC
Work with park advisory councils to improve park facilities and programming.
CPD, CPD advisory councils, LSPA, SNA
Construct small playgrounds and gardens on vacant parcels.
SSCS, LSNA, CSB, Ames GEAR-UP
Support creation of a multi-use plaza on Chicago Transit Authority property off Logan Square.
LSNA, archi-treasures, LSP, LSW, AAA
Rethink and reconfigure the Ames School athletic field.
Ames, CPS, CPD
Support renovation of the West Park Commission Comfort Station on Logan Square.
TIMEFRAME (YEARS) 1
ORGANIZATIONS LEAD ORGANIZATION
3. IMPROVE AND EXPAND MODEL COMMUNITY SCHOOL PROGRAMS, AND FOSTER EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR RESIDENTS OF ALL AGES. 3.1
Expand the Parent Mentor program.
LSNA, Funston, Brentano, Mozart, Monroe,
Build upon school-based Community Learning Centers.
Enhance the Literacy Ambassadors program.
Develop the Parents as Tutors program.
LSNA, Americorps, Funston, Monroe, Mozart
Expand high school service learning opportunities.
LSNA, Kelvyn Park HS
Grow Our Own Teachers program.
LSNA, CSU, ACORN, TCO
Expand pre-kindergarten and Head Start programs, and develop a new pre-school.
LSNA, YWCA, CH, YMCA, Brentano, Monroe,
Improve access to computers at local schools, the new public library and other public spaces.
OEC, LSNA, LSBL, Ames, CPS
Improve opportunities for high school students to advance to college.
LSNA, Kelvyn Park HS, CS, AVID, CPS-OPO,
Schneider, Ames, Darwin, McAuliffe LSNA, Funston, Monroe, Mozart, Schneider, Ames, AAA, MXC, CCM, FINU, Kelvyn Park HS LSNA, Funston, Brentano, Mozart, Monroe, Schneider, Ames, Darwin, McAuliffe
Mozart, Funston, Darwin
LSYC, ICIRR 3.10 Commission research on school mobility in Logan Square.
4. REVITALIZE AND REDEVELOP KEY COMMERCIAL CORRIDORS BY WORKING WITH ELECTED OFFICIALS, BUSINESSES AND PROPERTY OWNERS. 4.1
Pursue school-to-school housing and retail redevelopment on Armitage Avenue.
LSNA, BRC, WCC
Study potential zoning changes to encourage mixed-use projects.
Recruit badly needed businesses and services.
Support streetscape and building façade improvements along Fullerton, Armitage and Milwaukee avenues.
City of Chicago, EDC, FACC, AACC
5. SUPPORT INDUSTRIAL RETENTION AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, AND PROVIDE COORDINATED JOB TRAINING, JOB PLACEMENT AND FINANCIAL EDUCATION TO COMMUNITY RESIDENTS. 5.1
Expand Community Learning Centers to provide coordinated employment services and financial education.
LSNA, LEED Council, GNPDC, HPSS, CICWI, CLC
Assist local entrepreneurs with training and business development.
IIEE, LSNARC, PNB, LEED Council, GNPDC, HPVC
Work with local industrial councils and others to protect manufacturing jobs.
GNPDC, LEED Council, LSNA, IBC, workers, SSCS, ECA, NSAC, NCCC
TIMEFRAME (YEARS) 1
ORGANIZATIONS LEAD ORGANIZATION
6. IMPROVE THE HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELL BEING OF LOGAN SQUARE RESIDENTS AND FAMILIES. 6.1
Initiate a Healthier People/Healthier Workforce program.
Continue to expand health and nutrition programs.
LSNA, CSB, NCDHC, PrimeCare, ICIRR
Expand PrimeCare, a full-service health clinic in Logan Square.
Expand physical fitness and sports programs at schools, facilities and parks.
CPD, YMCA, CLC
Improve access to mental health services, addiction counseling and dental care.
HPSS, HAS, CR
Help young people make healthy lifestyle choices through a community-wide effort.
LSNA, CPD, Dist. 14, Dist. 25, CBF, Mozart,
Make Logan Square a safe place to bike and walk.
McAuliffe, Nixon, Funston, Ames LSNA, CPS, Dist. 14, Dist. 25, CBF, Mozart, McAuliffe, Nixon, Funston, Ames, Kelvyn Park HS, North Grand HS, YMCA, LSW, LSP 6.8
Form new block clubs to take on health and safety issues.
Increase participation in crime prevention strategies.
LSNA, CPS, Dist. 14, Dist. 25, CBF, Mozart, McAuliffe, Nixon, Funston, Ames, Kelvyn Park HS, North Grand HS, YMCA, LSW
7. SUPPORT LOCAL ARTS ORGANIZATIONS, PROMOTE ART ACTIVITIES AND EXPAND ARTS PROGRAMMING AND CULTURAL EVENTS. 7.1
Identify suitable workspace and buildings for lease or purchase by artists and arts organizations.
Expand arts programming in our Community Learning Centers.
LSNA, Redmoon, AAA, OTS, CCM
Strengthen the Logan Square Arts Council.
Undertake public arts projects.
archi-treasures, AAA, PA
Establish a cultural center to serve as the hub of arts activities.
TIMEFRAME (YEARS) 1
ORGANIZATIONS LEAD ORGANIZATION
8. BUILD COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AND ENABLE ALL RESIDENTS, YOUNG AND OLD, CITIZEN AND NON-CITIZEN, TO PARTICIPATE EFFECTIVELY IN DECISIONS AFFECTING THEIR LIVES.
Strengthen institutional ties, and build new relationships to advance the plan.
Organize to protect and advance the rights of immigrants.
LSNA, ICIRR, LSYC
Help immigrants obtain services and certifications needed for citizenship.
LSNA, ICIRR, ENH
Organize young people to have a voice in their future.
Connect young and old, organize seniors and help them get needed services.
LSNA, HHDC, LSW
Expand voter registration efforts.
New Communities Program
For more information
Staff and Consultants
NCP is a long-term initiative of Local Initiatives Support
Nancy Aardema Executive Director
Corporation/Chicago to support comprehensive community
Susan Yanun New Communities Program Director
Andrew Mooney Senior Program Director
development in Chicago neighborhoods. It seeks to rejuvenate
Logan Square Neighborhood Association
Amanda Carney Director, New Communities Program
challenged communities, bolster those in danger of losing
2840 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Susana Vasquez Deputy Director,
ground and preserve the diversity of areas in the path of
Chicago, IL 60618
New Communities Program
gentrification. Each effort is led by a neighborhood-based
(773) 384-4370 phone
Patrick Barry Scribe Coordinator and Editor
lead agency that coordinates programs among other local
(773) 384-0624 fax
John McCarron Scribe
organizations and citywide support groups.
The program gives each of the lead agencies several
Camiros Ltd. Leslie S. Pollock Principal Planner
resources: two full-time staff positions (an NCP director and organizer), technical support for planning and documenting the
Susana Vasquez Deputy Director,
Barry Gore Project Planner
planning process, a pool of loan and grant funds distributed on
New Communities Program
Jing Cui Urban Designer
a competitive basis for project seed money, and opportunities
Dena Hicks Landscape Architect
for learning from both peers and subject-area experts.
1 N. LaSalle St., 12th Floor
Denise Lea Planner
All NCP neighborhoods spend their first year undertaking
Chicago, IL 60602 Kym Abrams Design, Inc.
a structured community planning process that leads to the
quality-of-life plan, then move on to implementation. They
Kym Abrams Creative Director
are encouraged to be “doing while planning,” undertaking
Kelly Komp Design Manager
short-term “Early Action Projects” such as launching a youth
Andy Eltzroth Designer
program, opening an employment center, creating public art or sponsoring local health fairs. NCP is designed to strengthen communities from within
Illustration and Photo Credits Steven Mach Illustration, page 14
– through planning, organizing and human development.
Barry Gore, Camiros, Ltd., page 26
The comprehensive approach is designed to help broaden
Juan Francisco Hernandez, pages 3, 11
opportunities for local residents through better education,
Rob Hill, pages 2, 29
broader housing choices, safer streets, stronger personal
Logan Square Neighborhood Association, cover (far left,
finances and new economic opportunities. The strengthened community is better equipped to take advantage of larger
middle right), pages 6, 12, 13, 19, 23, 32, 33 Michael Stanek, cover (middle left, far right), pages 9, 30
market forces, attract new investment and enhance the overall quality of life.
The New Communities Program (NCP) is supported by a major grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional funding has been provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Joyce Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Living Cities, Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, Nationwide Insurance, Partnership for New Communities, Polk Bros. Foundation and Surdna Foundation. www.lisc-chicago.org www.newcommunities.org