Successful Community Survey Event Documents and Honors Roseland’s Historic Character

At one time, Roseland was called the Jewel of the South Side.

Volunteers turned out at the end of August to survey properties along the Michigan Avenue commercial corridor in Roseland to document the buildings that remain standing and which have historic character.

The survey event was sponsored by the Greater Roseland Chamber of Commerce, with support from Seaway, a credit union located at 11116 S. Michigan Avenue. Preservation Chicago provided access to the surveying program and training on how to conduct the survey. Data from the survey will be used to assess what is remaining of Roseland’s historic fabric and to make a case for its restoration and revitalization.

The Ware Ranch Steak House hosted the meet-up on Saturday, August 24. Volunteers spent the morning surveying properties along Michigan Avenue between 103 rd and 116 th Streets. When they returned to the Steak House, the energy and excitement was palpable. People shared pictures and stories of the buildings they came across, they shared memories of what it was like growing up in Roseland, and they began to imagine that it could be made better in the future.

It was a day mixed with skepticism but ultimately hope. Community members who showed up have seen Roseland face deterioration along Michigan Avenue for decades – with illicit activities, drug dealers and business owners concerned only with making money with little to no regard for the people who shop and live there. Despite the struggles that have brought the community down, volunteers were hopeful that something could be done to turn it around.

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