Homes vs Parking Originally uploaded by Payton Chung
The Smithsonian’s American History museum had this fascinating photo (from the Chicago Historical Society’s collection) of a Chicago two-flat whose owners were very unhappy about being pushed aside by redevelopment. It appears that their house was eventually taken to be a parking lot for Post Office trucks, but the date indicates that this was actually years after the Blue Line subway portal opened.
This was taken on the very same Mautene Court that WPB has spent so much effort trying to reactivate, and I’ve written about my ideas for resurrecting this block before. I hope this year’s Open Streets event on Milwaukee will feature events on Mautene, introducing the space to a broader audience.
The signs: “Homes vs Parking,” “Houses not Parking Lots,” and “We Will Not Give Up Our Home for a Parking Lot.”
What activities do you think could go on at Mautene Court?
I’m on the WPB transportation committee (for almost a year now).
Yes, I’m glad you finally joined the committee! You were living on the wrong side of town before. Please continue to reach out and find more locals; someone from West Town would be great, as well.
There’s a lot of programming that could be done on a temporary or occasional basis there. In the past, we thought about concerts as at Giddings Plaza, a pop-up market, outdoor yoga or tai chi classes, temporary interactive sculpture, even film screenings — imagine a bike-in movie to kick off the BFF. I believe that the agreement with the city allows WPB to do programs without clearing things with the city first, which vastly simplifies approvals.
If the pedestrian street were extended (perhaps as a shared street) down to Division, that would be a great space for a larger weekly market.