Having watched demolition, abandonment and neglect erode their communities, Bronzeville and Roseland residents are stepping up with hard work and advocacy to save what is left of their historic built environments.
Facilitated by Preservation Chicago, community members are surveying neighborhood buildings, assessing which ones have historic character and coming up with plans to protect them. Strategies to protect the historic fabric include recruiting developers to buy and restore the most vulnerable properties, seeking Landmark Districts and advocating for a new conservation district model. Both communities are also planning community outreach to raise awareness about the significant architectural history and how important it is to the sense of community and place.
It was heartbreaking that while planning the survey event in Roseland the historic Gately’s People’s Store had a devastating fire. All of the neighbors involved in the planning shared stories of how significant that store has been to the community.
Surveying of the 43rd Street corridor in Bronzeville is well underway, and the Roseland survey will kick off on July 15 and July 20. If you would like to participate in any surveying in these areas, please contact Mary Lu Seidel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in doing this survey work in your own community, please reach out to Mary Lu as well.