Features | History | Parks | South Shore

A Palace for the People

South Shore residents continue a long fight to make the South Shore Cultural Center a space for community arts

Jason Schumer

Boasting four tall towers, each topped by an American flag and flanked by well-groomed flower beds, the South Shore Cultural Center drips of stateliness. Inside there is no less pomp and circumstance—cascading chandeliers, embossed ceilings, detailed early-twentieth century wallpaper, and floor-to-ceiling windows give the space a palatial quality.

Development | Features | History

The Fight to Remain

A new affordable housing complex at 63rd and Cottage Grove has Woodlawn’s low-income residents wondering about their place in the neighborhood

Woodlawn Station, one of Preservation of Affordable Housing’s new buildings at the corner of 63rd Street and Cottage Grove Avenue. Daley’s, the city’s oldest restaurant, is set to move into the development from its current location across the street. (Jason Schumer)

With the Obama Presidential Center proposed for Jackson Park, the University of Chicago’s continuing development along 61st Street, and a myriad of other projects large and small, residents are asking: what will Woodlawn become? This is the second article in a series investigating the past, present, and future of the neighborhood. Read the first here.

History | Politics

An American Suburb, 2018

Stories and photos from Dolton, Illinois

The freight train frequently pass through Riverdale and Dolton, usually stopping for more than two hours at a time, barricading families with a timely journeys . The Robison are halted from getting home on the Riverdale side of the track. They pass the time by doing homework and color in their notebook while they wait. It's become common to wait long period of time in Dolton, and people are frustrated. They frequently hop over the tracks to get home. (Photo by Sebastián Hidalgo for Better Government Association and Chicago Public Media)

History | Visual Arts

Do You Know Margaret Burroughs?

A symposium on art in Chicago and a Margaret Burroughs exhibition explore and celebrate the South Side’s contribution to art

Max Budovitch

Between four horn players, a dancing woman throws up her hands and closes her eyes. The performers are in a crowd in the middle of a street illuminated by streetlights, golden shopfront windows, and the stars overhead. Faces look out from windows. A white police officer casts a shifty glance.  

History

The Overlooked Legacy of Ida B. Wells

Michelle Duster, Eve Ewing, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Natalie Moore discussed the journalist and civil rights activist’s life and legacy

L-R: Natalie Moore, Eve Ewing, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Michelle Duster (Ben Gonzales, Chicago Humanities Festival)

Last week at the Harold Washington Cultural Center in Bronzeville, Michelle Duster, great-granddaughter of legendary author, journalist, and abolitionist Ida B. Wells, told a packed audience about how four generations of her family have worked to keep her legacy alive. Duster’s grandmother spent years editing Wells’s autobiography, which was first published in 1970. Duster’s parents’ generation established a memorial foundation in Wells’s name for aspiring journalists. Her cousin wrote a play about Wells. And Duster, an author and professor of writing at Columbia College, has edited two books of Wells’ original writing and worked with journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and activist Mariame Kaba to raise around $200,000 for a monument to Wells.

Development | Features | History | Politics | Woodlawn

Where Are You Going, Woodlawn?

At a community celebration, residents and visitors consider the neighborhood’s next chapter

Ireashia Bennett, Ellen Hao

With the Obama Presidential Center proposed for Jackson Park, the University of Chicago’s continuing development along 61st Street, and a myriad of other projects large and small, residents are asking: what will Woodlawn become? This is the first article in a series investigating the past, present, and future of the neighborhood.

History | Interview Issue 2018

Bones of the City

A Chicago archaeologist makes the case for digging up the past

Katie Hill

If we can learn something valuable about people by looking at the “mundane, everyday objects” of their daily lives, as Rebecca Graff suggests, the assortment of items littered around her office tells us the obvious—that she is an urban archaeologist. Lanyards from academic conferences are pinned to the bulletin board in a messy gaggle, stray surveying equipment sits in the corner, and her shelves are full of glass bottles with worn-off labels, artifacts saved from digs. Even apparent signs of hobbies, like the half-shelf full of beer cans, lead back to her discipline: the cans are gifts from her students, finds from antique shows across the world.

Architecture | History | Housing

Digging Up the Past

After a new archaeological discovery at IIT, a spat over the school’s history of displacement emerges

Courtesy IIT

About a month ago, while digging up the ground under the Illinois Institute of Technology’s S.R. Crown Hall in Bronzeville to repair the school’s steam tunnels, maintenance workers uncovered some unexpected remnants of the neighborhood’s past. The artifacts, displayed for a one-day exhibition at Crown Hall this month, included ceramic tiles and stone pathways, along with a random assortment of everyday objects: a busted thermometer, glazed clay Bennington marbles, and a dirt-caked silver fork inscribed with the word “Toffenetti.”

Education | History | Lit Issue 2018

Charting a Course

A new history examines the long-overlooked life and work of trailblazing academic Allison Davis

In The Lost Black Scholar, historian David A. Varel tells the story of Allison Davis, the first Black professor to become a full faculty member at a predominantly white American university—the University of Chicago—and a brilliant scholar who, despite making significant contributions to race-related issues in multiple fields, was underappreciated in his time and continues to be overlooked by scholars and historians today.