Join Lee Diamond on one his interesting neighborhood tours on April 25, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Columbus Park at 500 South Central Avenue in Chicago. Lee’s tours are wonderful as the group rides through a neighborhood, stopping at architecturally notable or historical spots, where Lee recounts the history or details. There is a small charge for the tours, but it is worth it, call Lee for more information or go to the Chainlink site.
Austin, Chicago Community Area #, seven miles due west of the Loop.
It is one of Chicago’s largest Community Areas and was founded in 1865 by Henry Austin. Originally located in the township of Cicero, it was voted out of the Township and became part of Chicago in 1899.
For years, the rail lines served as a boon to Austin, and development and communities grew and prospered for years. Austin is site to some of the grandest mansions and most splendid architectural forms in all of Chicago, and to one of the grandest parks in the park system, Columbus Park, a fully-realized design of famed landscape architect Jens Jensen.
Sadly Austin’s beautiful buildings are often neighbored by empty lots, and dilapidated structures in many directions as the area has seen its fortunes decline as its population and money disappeared while its infrastructure and opportunities ever weakened.
The prospect for urban renewal in many ways begins by rediscovering what we Chicagoans have lost by neglecting our neighborhoods. By remembering and seeing what we have lost, we can change a neighborhood’s fortunes, and regain our stature as a city.