Bridgeport | Community

Who Owns Benton House?

Chicago’s last settlement house struggles to define its identity

Photos Courtesy of Benton House Office

A cold wind blew down South Gratten Street on a chilly November afternoon while Bridgeport residents outside stood in line for Benton House’s food pantry, donning jackets, scarves, gloves, and all. Seniors sat on plastic lawn chairs on the sidewalk with personal shopping carts in tow. Inside, toddlers bounced around the stairs while their mothers monitored them with hawk-like vision.

Art | Bridgeport

Some Darkness, Some Light

Steve Badauskas, owner of Bernice’s, gets a solo show

Justin Honra

On the first floor of the Lacuna Artists Lofts, near the abstract floating reclaimed wood sculpture, past the neon Converse All-Stars wall hanging, around the eleven-foot-tall vintage cowhide couch-swing with USB port armrests, you enter a narrow room.

Best of the South Side 2015 | Bridgeport

Best of Bridgeport 2015

Eric Kirkes

A stone’s throw away from Chicago’s downtown area, one might find oneself in this nondescript, inconspicuous neighborhood called Bridgeport. With its post-industrial sheen, one would never guess the historic significance it holds: thousands and thousands of immigrants started up their American dream right here. It was a start-up for throngs arriving from throughout Europe. Word spread that boundless opportunities and streets paved with gold would welcome you. Bridgeport was booted up to the thriving union stockyards and the central manufacturing district. Abundant back-breaking work was available for everyone hardy or foolish enough to partake in this new American way of life. Saloons on every corner took the edge off the drudgery. Newly built churches and schools catered to your ethnic origin, gave you community.

Best of the South Side 2014 | Bridgeport

Bridgeport

STEPHEN URCHICK

Bridgeport on a Sunday morning: a seating queue winds snugly around the corner of the organic eatery Nana, its outdoor café space buzzing both with young brunchers and the bees that dive-bomb them from the planters. There’s a sidewalk sale assembled on the stoops of Jackalope Coffee and Tea House, attracting a crush of folks who are perhaps too cool for you. Continue reading

Best of the South Side 2014 | Bridgeport

Best Kept Secret: Filbert’s Old Time Root Beer

ROBERT SORRELL

I don’t sit behind a desk and count all the money,” joked Ron Filbert, fourth generation Filbert and present owner of Filbert’s Old Time Root Beer and its additional twenty-nine varieties of pop. “Even though I’d like to be able to do that,” he added, on his way to bottling a batch of ginger beer in the back room. Dressed casually in a t-shirt and shorts, Filbert radiated boyish joy when talking about his products. With a contagious grin across his face and a look in his eye that could only be called a twinkle, Filbert doesn’t seem too let down by the absence of cash counting in his life. Continue reading

Bridgeport | Development | Uncategorized

Without a Paddle

A stalled boathouse and the city's commitment to the South Branch
COURTESY OF STUDIO GANG

COURTESY OF STUDIO GANG

Rahm Emanuel noted in a 2011 press release that if Lake Michigan was Chicago’s “front yard,” then the Chicago River ought to be treated as the city’s “backyard,” and embraced as its “next recreational frontier.” In the press release, the mayor announced another step in the city’s decades-long attempt to completely revolutionize its riverfront: that is, to transform a vein of water so polluted that it has earned the nickname “Bubbly Creek” into a friendly and accessible destination for city residents. With $1 million in EPA funding, the city would construct four boathouses at various points along the riverbed, split evenly between the South and North Sides. Continue reading

Bridgeport | Chinatown | Pilsen | Politics

Fight Over Flight

The vicious debate over the Halsted heliport
HANNA PETROSKI

HANNA PETROSKI

At 2420 South Halsted Street, a heliport is set to break ground. Perched on the border of Bridgeport and Pilsen, the project is not alone—less than two and a half miles away, a Vertiport has begun to sprout thanks to sponsorship from Mayor Rahm Emanuel. That port will be built near Stroger Hospital, and will be used mostly for medical needs, although the city plans on opening it to corporate charters as well. Continue reading