We've Moved

Ecology of Absence now resides at www.preservationresearch.com. Please change your links and feeds.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Bosley Won't Support Any More Demolition in Hyde Park

During testimony at Monday's Preservation Board meeting, Alderman Freeman Bosley, Sr. (D-3rd) stated that he would no longer support demolition in the Hyde Park Historic District, a federally-certified local historic district located entirely within his ward.

According to Bosley, decades of demolition have taken their toll. After watching buildings fall during days when the Hyde Park neighborhood was more desperate for development, he sees mistakes in past practices. However, the alderman wants to see extensive new construction in the neighborhood because it makes the older buildings more attractive to rehabbers.

Bosley was testifying in favor of a plan to build two new houses on 25nd Street offered by Mark Zerillo in consultation with realtor, developer and Preservation Board Vice Chairperson Mary "One" Johnson. The houses would entail reuse of existing foundations poured in 1995 but never build upon that would support two-story brick-faced frame houses supposedly modeled on older flat-roofed flats on the neighborhood.

Cultural Resources Office Director Kate Shea opposed granting preliminary approval due to the project's lack of compliance with the standards of the local district. (Read Shea's report here.) The Preservation Board concurred; a motion to withhold preliminary approval made by John Burse passed by a vote of 5-1 with board member Ald. Terry Kennedy (D-18th) opposed.

The Preservation Board also granted preliminary approval to infill housing in Hyde Park proposed by a development group headed by Ken Nuernburger (more here). That plan called for demolition of a two-story commercial building at 2303 Salisbury and a two-story brick house at 3915 N. 25th Street, across the street from the foundations proposed for reuse by Zerillo and the Johnsons.

The Board approved demolition of the building on Salisbury by a vote of 8-1, with member Mike Killeen dissenting. The Board denied demolition of the building on 25th street by a vote of 5-3, with members David Richardson, Johnson and Kennedy dissenting. Chairman Richard Callow abstained from these votes.


Anonymous said...

Bosley supported Eminent Domain condemnations in the Salisbury Park, Better Living Communities, Bethlehem Lutheran Church project in Hyde Park during the last four years.
Over a dozen longterm stable residents were forced from their homes and given substandard compensation by Commissioners. These home have been torn down and buried in the basements on site. I wonder why the change of heart at this time?

Anonymous said...

Bosley wants some of that good stuff going on ONSL up in his ward.

Anonymous said...

Ironic that Burse made the motion, since it's the work he's started in ONSL that has forced Bosley to change his behavior regarding development...

Anonymous said...

John kicks ass, but I didn't know her started the revitalization of ONSL. Huh.

Guess history has forgotten the efforts of long-timers like the Bratowskis, the Smiths, the Tschetters, and others.

Anonymous said...

Ironic that the only alderman on the preservation board oversees one of the few wards not within any historic district of any kind. Of course, Kennedy likely only voted out of aldermanic courtesy for Bosley. But what's the point then of having any alderman on the board, if they'll always vote with the alderman for the appelant's property?

Anonymous said...

The presence of an alderman on the Preservation Board -- especially one who participates as actively as Ald. Kennedy does -- is critical to the Board's work.

The Preservation Board's authority comes from the City ordinances enacted by aldermen -- ordinances that can weakened, strengthened, clarified, or revoked by the aldermen. The participation of a senior member of the Board of Aldermen (the sitting member is by ordinance the chairman of the aldermanic HUDZ committee, usually one of the two or three most senior aldermen) is an important element in protecting the PB's scope of activity.

Further, the presence of an alderman is useful to remind the other volunteer members of the PB that many issues that they might see as clear cut are -- considered in the context of a neighborhood -- really quite complex.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone actually believe a word Bosley utters? Please.

As far as Burse goes, he the last person who should be getting any credit for what's going on in Old North. What's going on up there, a lot of people helped happen.

Michael R. Allen said...

A few comments:

1.) How did this discussion turn into one about John Burse?

2.) It's good to put any elected official's public statements on the record. That's all.

Anonymous said...

John Burse is neither a Southsider or a hypocrite. He has his family, current assets and future earnings square in the heart of ONSL, and his actions follow his words. Yes, raising ONSL from the dead has been a long-term community effort. Yes, there are schisms between different factions of neighborhood politics. I've lived in much less engaged neighborhood, and love the fact that we have so many involved neighbors that we have factions!

Anonymous said...

Bottom Line... Old North Rules.
You're all the heroes of the Northside!