The historic Bronzeville neighborhood on the city’s South Side sits just south of McCormick Place, and has been known for decades as a hub of Black arts and culture in Chicago. Wednesday, City Council paved the way for a massive new development that could reshape the community’s future.
The site of the long-defunct hospital is poised to be transformed into a new Chicago neighborhood offering 4,800 homes, plus offices, research facilities and stores as part of a $4 billion redevelopment. “This has been a long time coming,” said Ald. Sophia King.
The vote Friday to change the name of the city’s most iconic roadway came after months of intense and raucous debate that included accusations of racism over how best to honor Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, Chicago’s first non-native settler.
Leaders of the group that launched the push to rename Lake Shore Drive say they will agree to a compromise plan to call the iconic roadway “DuSable Lake Shore Drive,” but Mayor Lightfoot has yet to endorse the proposal.
City Council members are expected to vote on a proposal to rename Lake Shore Drive after Chicago's first non-Indigenous settler, Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, after a parliamentary maneuver delayed the vote last month. We discussion that plan and other city business with four alderpeople.
While celebrating the full reopening of Chicago on Friday morning as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she does not support the push to rename Lake Shore Drive, again calling it an “iconic” name with national recognition.
The landmark designation would preserve the legacy of African Americans in Chicago and ensure that future generations recognize Muddy Waters as the father of the blues, supporters said.
Changing the addresses of the four museums could cost the institutions a significant amount of money and complicate their efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said.
Opponents of a plan to rename 17 miles of Lake Shore Drive for Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, Chicago’s first permanent non-Indigenous settler, blocked a vote on the measure Wednesday, enraging supporters of the plan, who called the move racist.
The Chicago Plan Commission approved a $3.8 billion effort earlier this year to overhaul the former Michael Reese Hospital site in Bronzeville, just west of the lakefront on 31st Street. The team behind the development is thinking big and working toward community buy-in.
The ordinance drew fierce opposition from cultural and preservation groups and those working to turn the homes of civil rights icon Emmett Till and blues legend Muddy Waters into museums, who said it could block their efforts.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot says that a proposal requiring museums to get special permission from city officials before opening in residential neighborhoods is “highly problematic.” Her criticism makes it unlikely that the measure, which has drawn fierce opposition, will advance this week.
Several aldermen on Thursday called on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to use approximately $50 million from the city’s share of the latest COVID-19 relief package to fund cash assistance payments to Chicagoans struggling to stay afloat. Lightfoot declined to support cash assistance payments to Chicagoans in a statement to WTTW News.
Alds. David Moore and Sophia King introduced an ordinance Wednesday to rename Lake Shore Drive to Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Drive in honor of the city’s founder.
The city is asking for proposals to develop the former Michael Reese Hospital site, which has sat vacant for nearly a decade. But what’s the best fit for the 50-acre plot?