May 2022 Newsletter
SLN Events
Ice Cream Social
July 21, 5 pm to 7 pm
Printers Row Park

Grills Night Out
July 23, 7 pm
Dearborn Park

Photo Contest: Seasons of the
South Loop
Aug 13 - 14
10 am to 5 pm
Dearborn and Polk
Ice Cream Social
Thurs., July 21
5:00-7:00 pm 
Printers Row Park
532 S. Dearborn 

Summer's coming... 

Come out and enjoy a free ice cream social sponsored by the South Loop Neighbors in partnership with Printers Row Advisory Council.

Sat., July 23
Dearborn Park

Bring your own meat (or veggies) and join your neighbors for a midsummer's night of good food and good times. South Loop Neighbors will provide the grills, drinks, chips, and dessert.
Photo Contest:
Seasons of the South Loop
Aug. 13-14
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Dearborn and Polk

Photos will be exhibited at the Printer's Row Art Fest. This year's theme is "Seasons of the South Loop." Start taking your photos now! 
Planning & Development
Lollapalooza meeting
Lollapalooza's organizers and Alderpersons King and Reilly are holding an online meeting community meeting next Tuesday regarding the huge music festival. Event coordinators will address resident concerns about the festival weekend, set for July 28-31 this year. The meeting is Tue., June 28, at 5 pm. Register for the meeting at this link.
Shedd renovations approved
The Shedd Aquarium’s renovation plans were approved by Plan Commission June 16, part of a $500 million Centennial Commitment that will significantly renew and refresh various interior portions of the building.

The project also calls for various exterior improvements, most significantly a new ticketing and entry pavilion near the vehicular dropoff and “Man With FIsh” sculpture on Solidarity Dr. Plans also call for widening the building’s terrace deck on the north side of the building by 10 feet and rebuilding the north gallery’s roof. Landscape improvements will include an enhanced picnic area on the building’s north side, and more shade trees in several locations.

City money up front for The 78?
Related Midwest, developer of The 78, is looking to the city to advance money to pay for various infrastructure improvements that it was to have been funded. The Planned Development ordinance for the project requires Related to pay for the extension of 15th Street west from Clark, and relocation westward of the Metra tracks. 

But Discovery Partners Institute, the University of Illinois institute that is so far the only announced occupant at the site, is property-tax exempt. Wiith no casino headed to the site, The 78 will not soon be generating property-tax revenue. As a result, talks have begun in which the city would advance the money, rather than Related Midwest, being paid back by property taxes on eventual development.

Discovery Partners Institute is expected to break ground late next year on a $250 million, 261,000-square-foot headquarters building with classrooms, lab space and offices. 
Related says there is interest in constructing two other office and lab structures for firms that want to be close to DPI, with even some potential residential and retail space along Clark Street.

Amtrak operational changes possible
Amtrak has applied for an infrastructure grant, part of the National Infrastructure Project Assistance, or Mega Program, that would change the way many trains move in and out of Union Station.

In early 2020, contractors working on reconstruction of the riverbank next to Amtrak’s yards apparently severed an underwater cable, making it difficult to operate the St Charles Air Line bridge that crosses the river at 1600 South. As a result, the bridge has been lifted since early 2020, forcing Amtrak to find a new route for trains making their way from Union Station to the lakefront tracks, and on to Champaign and New Orleans. Those routes always required a backup move to get in and out of Union Station.

Amtrak would like to build two new turnouts, or curved sections of track, that would allow trains to move directly onto the repaired bridge, and then trains bound for Springfield, St. Louis, and Texas could turn south on Metra’s Rock Island District, where they could avoid freight train interference between Chicago and Joliet. Lakefront trains would continue east to use the tracks next to the Metra Electric Line through McCormick Place and Hyde Park.

New Near South high school proposed—then tabled
A proposal for a new high school serving Chinatown and the Near South Side popped up in the Chicago Board of Education’s capital budget in late June—and then was pulled from the agenda just prior to the June 22 meeting.

With student numbers plummeting throughout the city, South Side activists particularly questioned the need to build a new high school. Housing advocates questioned the appropriateness of using land at 24th & State that was formerly part of the Harold Ickes Homes, which CHA had promised to replace with new low-income housing.

Chinatown has at least doubled in population since 2000, and students from the area ares zoned to Wendell Phillips Academy High School in Bronzeville. Many choose Thomas Kelly College Prep in Brighton Park.

CPS notes that the Near South Side has grown over the past decade, with nearly 6,000 elementary-age kids this year, and projects within five years a 15% increase in the number of high school students. Enrollment citywide, however, has continued a long downturn during the pandemic, falling 7% from 2020 to 2022. The initial proposal calls for a 1,200-student school.

CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said the district needed more time to get community input. The proposal will return before the board in the “near future,” Martinez said.
Opposition to demolition of four GSA owned buildings on S. State St.

The South Loop Neighbors has joined with the Chicago Loop Alliance, Chicago Central Area Committee and the Loop Neighbors in strongly opposing the demolition of the four buildings owned by the U.S. General Service Administration on S. State St. To see the letter of opposition with the reasoning, click here.
Development update
A roundup of what's proposed and underway for the South Loop was the program at our annual meeting in January. You can watch it on YouTube.

The latest information on planning and development in our area can always be found at our website
Briefly noted . . .
  • Farmer's Markets:
  • Printer's Row Saturdays 9am- 1pm May 28-October 15
  • Grant Park/ NEMA Parking lot Thursday 4pm-8pm June 2- October 13
  • Lin Park Ribbon Cutting June 24 at 10am
  • Sounds of the South Loop June 25 at 7:30 pm and August 27 at 7:30 pm
  • Night out in the parks:
  • Fred Anderson Park:
  • 2nd Sunday Concerts July 10 and Aug. 14 at 6pm
  • Consider the Lilies July 6 at 6pm
  • Chicago Women's Park:
  • Toddlers, Tunes, and Turtles July 13 at 5pm
  • Concerts in your neighborhood July 21 at 6:30 pm
  • The Bollywood Dances of South Asia July 29 at 6pm
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream Aug. 12, 13 at 6pm, Aug. 14 at 3pm
  • Webster Park:
  • Queer as Folk: What Happens in the Parks July 22 at 7pm
  • Northerly Island:
  • Singing Insects Soundwalk Sept. 6 at 6:30 pm
  • Shedd:
  • The Bollywood Dances of South Asia on Aug. 6 at 3pm
  • Story Time with Yes Ma'am Circus Aug. 18 at 1pm
  • Ping Tom:
  • TRQPITECA Qeer Pride 2022 on June 26 at 3pm
  • Singing our way Forward: Karaoke July 16 at 11am
  • Typewriter Social July 16 at 11am
  • Poetic Platforms 2022 July 16 at 11am
  • Side by Side with Chicago Phil July 23 at 6pm
  • Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks July 23 at 6:30 pm
  • Movies in the Parks Aug. 3 at 8:15 pm
  • Rhythms of China Aug. 20 at 3pm
  • Mid-Autumn Moon Festival Gala Sept. 3 at 1pm
  • It's not too late to register for summer programs
  • Ward redistricting. A new map was approved by city council.
  • Street sweeping. Click here for the schedule.
  • Chicago Police 1st District and Community Beat Meetings schedule
  • Camera Registration Program: If you have a private security camera and are interested in aiding the Chicago Police Department in criminal investigations, register the location of your camera here.
  • Home & Business Protection Program. You can get reimbursed for camera, subscription costs, lights, and more. Click here for more information.
  • Join the South Loop Advisory Council
  • Chicago Loop Alliance news!
  • Info on free days at Chicago museums here!
  • Parking restrictions are in place for the South Loop from Roosevelt Road to Cermak Rd. from Lake Shore Drive to Clark St. during all Chicago Bears football games and many other Soldier Field events. Wintrust Arena events have been removed from the parking restrictions. Vehicles parked in the South Loop without a valid South Loop Event Parking Pass, South Loop Event Guest Pass or Residential Permit Parking pass (for Residential Permit Parking Streets ONLY) are subject to ticketing or towing. Complete list of Soldier Field events.
  • Chicago's current COVID risk level
  • Dearborn Express: Current edition
Recent Past SLN Event
Yard Sale
June 4 , 2022

Grills Night Out
June 18, 2022