Sunday, January 20, 2008

Neighborhood saves view of historic mural

Humboldt Park residents who fought since 2003 to preserve the view of a historic mural are just one step away from a permanent victory. As reported by Jeanette Almeda in the January 13, 2008, Chicago Tribune, the Near North Neighborhood Network plans to purchase the land adjacent to the mural, at 2425 W. North Avenue, and turn it into a park.

A new mixed-use condominium building was being built on the site in 2004, slowly obscuring the "La Crucifixion de Don Pedro Albizu Campos" mural, which represents Puerto Rican history. NNNN and teens from Batey Youth mounted protests and convinced the local alderman to stop construction. The city condemned the property and will sell the parcel to the network for $1.

Photos courtesy Batey Urbano

"The city used tax-increment financing to pay $478,000 for condemnation of the parcel and has returned $325,000 to the TIF through open-space impact fees," wrote Almeda. "The fees are collected from developers of new residential units and can be used for public open space, Planning Department spokesman Peter Scales said last week."

"Aside from the land discount, the city also will cover $50,000 of the estimated $67,000 landscaping cost for the park," the story said. "The project will add trees, benches and a wooden shelter around the mural."

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