Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948


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Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: captain54 (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: January 25, 2010 08:28PM

Here's a before and after of the intersection of 63rd and South Loomis...looking west down 63rd Street...can't decide if this is interesting, or just heartbreaking...or maybe simply stomach turning..

1948 view

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4304417417/" title="63rd and Loomis 1948 by captain54_01, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2794/4304417417_03a83e6571_b.jpg" width="1024" height="813" alt="63rd and Loomis 1948" /></a>

Current view

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4305164118/" title="63rd and Loomis, current by captain54_01, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4009/4305164118_eb8465542a_o.jpg" width="1015" height="455" alt="63rd and Loomis, current" /></a>

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: 222psm (---.br.br.cox.net)
Date: January 25, 2010 11:17PM

Wow! What a difference, I'm not real familiar with that part of town. I wonder what caused such a drastic change? That's definitely very intresting.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/26/2010 10:42AM by 222psm.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: bwalsh (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 26, 2010 12:37AM

Wow, I would say it's sort of heartbreaking. My parents would have been around that area at that time. That was actually the year before they met. It just seems that so many of the places that were a vibrant, important part of Chicago are just disappearing and apparently for no good reason as the empty plot of land attests to in the second picture. 63rd St was like downtown to them at that time - it was the main shopping area, especially further east at Halsted.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: 222psm (---.br.br.cox.net)
Date: January 26, 2010 11:05AM

Now that I've looked in google maps aerial view, man that is heart braking the whole area looks like a ghost town, just vacant lots. Too bad the only time you hear about Englewood this day and age is when someone gets killed there. but I think Chicago has done a decent job of bringing back some of its neighborhoods, it could be a lot worse just look at Detroit.

Looks like that laundry-cleaners building was around till 2002, it seems that after 1972 is when it changed a lot. the large factory(?) to the camera's back (East)
disappeared between 1972 and 1988 as did a lot of buildings all around the area.
Did anyone grow up in the area as to explain what happen? This has peaked my interest.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 01/26/2010 12:40PM by 222psm.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: captain54 (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: January 26, 2010 02:36PM

here's a fairly good explanation of what happened in Englewood

http://www.chicagoreporter.com/index.php/c/Sidebars/d/A_Brief_History_of_Englewood

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: 222psm (---.br.br.cox.net)
Date: January 26, 2010 04:45PM

captain54 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> here's a fairly good explanation of what happened
> in Englewood
>
> http://www.chicagoreporter.com/index.php/c/Sidebar
> s/d/A_Brief_History_of_Englewood

Thanks, that explains it very well, when a community looses 50,000 residents in 30 years that's what happens.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: captain54 (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: January 29, 2010 03:28PM

Is it just me, or do the 48' street cars look cooler in a retro sort of way, more modern,and more streamlined than the current buses the CTA has on the streets today?

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: bwalsh (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 29, 2010 03:56PM

I agree Captain. The front of the new ones are more boxy - like a giant shoebox on wheels. The inside of the modern CTA buses are a complete waste of space also. You used to be able to sit right behind the driver - not any more. The whole section up front is non-usable space. Part of it is for the contraption that reads the fare cards (about 6 ft long and 3 ft high) - forget what's across - I think on some there is one single seat facing the aisle. Then finally you get to the priority seating, then the regular seats and then step up to the back of the bus. Not sure what the capacity is on these, but it seems less to me. I hate facing the aisle, consequently facing the person across from you and your face right in someone's rear if there are lots of standees. That's the kind of seating they are putting more of in the busses and train cars. Lots less of the traditional 2x2 facing forward.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: captain54 (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: February 03, 2010 12:54AM

222psm Wrote:

> Thanks, that explains it very well, when a
> community looses 50,000 residents in 30 years
> that's what happens.

Which begs the question..Why? In 20 years, the area’s white population had plummeted from 51,583 to 818. Has anyone really ever honestly addressed that issue? How could people (and I mostly mean government) just let a once vibrant, thriving neighborhood with the largest shopping district outside of the Loop fall into utter and complete desolation?

I got a bit sidetracked the other day on the way home and got detoured through the Marquette Park neighborhood, the neighborhood of my high school alma mater. Once lovely classic Chicago bungalows and stately two flats are being boarded up.

I envision a time, twenty or so years from now, when those blocks will be flattened war zones, like the current 63rd and Loomis and Englewood neighborhoods..

What excuse will there be then?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/03/2010 12:57AM by captain54.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: 222psm (---.br.br.cox.net)
Date: February 03, 2010 07:19PM

That's a good question, but I think there is no simple answer or has a single cause. I think part of the problem lies that when a new mall, strip mall, or shopping center opens a lot of merchants are quick to move to the next "great thing". so what we get in the old neighborhood is a bunch of vacant shops with no real chance of reopening.

Property values drop, people move out to the suburbs, or "better" parts of town and urban decay sets in, it attracts criminals and gangs, crime goes up. After witch the only people that can live there are people in poverty. once that happens I think
it's very hard for any one to change it back. I agree with you it's heart breaking and sickening to see a neighborhood go through such a decline, more so when it's your current of former neighborhood.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: captain54 (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: February 03, 2010 09:32PM

Yet, on the north side of Madison street its just the opposite. Old broken down neighborhoods or desolate old industrial areas are suddenly transformed into cool, hip areas, and eventually prime real estate markets. It doesn't make any sense.

I'll give you one possible explanation, or theory for all of this...(and I'll get off of my soapbox in a minute)..

It has to do with whether or not the city is politically and economically invested in an area. If it's not, then the hoodlums and gangbangers are left to tear down and destroy. If it is, then every effort is made to clean up the garbage.

I'll give you a perfect example. Fulton Street Market district, from Ashland to Halsted, and from Lake Street to Fulton. 25 years or so ago, the streetwalkers had the run of the area, along with other undesirables. As soon as the city began to see that the area was in line to generate some major tax revenue with development, the streetwalkers and such were run out of there in a heartbeat.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: WayOutWardell (63.226.79.---)
Date: February 04, 2010 12:56AM

It will be interesting to see what the long-term effects of the housing market collapse will be in neighborhoods that were either on the verge of further decay or on the verge of rejuvenation; it's incredible how quickly a building deteriorates after just a short period of deferred maintenance.

That said, a lot of the buildings on Englewood's main drag that were torn down recently were still quite solid and in decent shape. The Carpenters' Union building was in remarkable condition, for one, and it's a testament to those who built it that the Masonic Lodge is still standing.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/04/2010 03:08AM by WayOutWardell.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: captain54 (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: February 04, 2010 04:43AM

WayOutWardell Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> That said, a lot of the buildings on Englewood's
> main drag that were torn down recently were still
> quite solid and in decent shape. The Carpenters'
> Union building was in remarkable condition, for
> one, and it's a testament to those who built it
> that the Masonic Lodge is still standing.

Worth mentioning as well is the Southtown Theatre. Built in 31', its hard to believe is was in that bad of shape when it was demolished in 91'


<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4329851340/" title="Southtown Theatre 1935 by captain54_01, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4028/4329851340_34b4e9d74f_b.jpg" width="1024" height="877" alt="Southtown Theatre 1935" /></a>

The 7 story tower was built with a dirigible hook at the top in order for passengers to alight and take in a movie. It was one of the first Rapp & Rapp theatres to be built for the automobile age, with a parking lot for 1,000 cars.

Had the Flamingo Pool in the Grand Lobby with a waterfall and fish, ducks, as well as a nursery. Directly across the street once stood the infamous Holmes Castle, where John Holmes did his dastardly deeds during the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition and Worlds Fair, and written about in "Devil in the White City"



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/04/2010 05:05AM by captain54.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: WayOutWardell (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 04, 2010 01:21PM

Right...wasn't it still occupied by a department store when it was torn down? The building may have been used as a store longer than it was used as a theater.

Tangent: One of the former B&K folks told me that the original floor around the fountain was made of large tile panels. People kept slipping on the wet floor, so B&K quickly pulled it up and relaid it with much smaller mosaic tiles.

Tax revenue is the key, and developers are like lemmings; once someone starts developing in an area or on a block, all the others rush to develop there too. It's probably naive to think so but maybe the new KKC will eventually lead to other businesses opening around there. Aside from Cricket.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: captain54 (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: February 04, 2010 04:35PM

WayOutWardell Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Right...wasn't it still occupied by a department
> store when it was torn down? The building may
> have been used as a store longer than it was used
> as a theater.
>
>
> Tax revenue is the key, and developers are like
> lemmings; once someone starts developing in an
> area or on a block, all the others rush to develop
> there too. It's probably naive to think so but
> maybe the new KKC will eventually lead to other
> businesses opening around there. Aside from
> Cricket.

It was something other than a theatre longer than it was a theatre. It was Carr's Department Store from 58' to 85', then became a flea market until it was demolished in 91'. Carr's purchased it for 2.5 million in 1958 and the sale price in 1985 was S295,000.

So true about developers and the lemmings factor. Southport Avenue between Belmont and Irving Park come to mind. You'd be hard pressed to find any sort of nightlife or activity on Southport, 25 or so years ago, but once the Music Box Theatre was renovated, it all eventually blossomed.

Wishful thinking about the new KKC bringing in new development, but unlikely, unless KKC students bring their cash and credit cards with them. As was the case with the Music Box and Southport, bars and restaurants started to open in that vicinty as soon as it became apparent that the Music Box was going to be popular and people were going to spend cash before and after the show. then it all just took off from there.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: davey7 (---.dsl.chcgil.ameritech.net)
Date: February 04, 2010 07:54PM

The Music Box is a case in point; gentrification/redevelopment is all about street life, none of which is really present on 63rd around the new KKC, which is a really suburban building with a big fence facing the street. Also KKC is mainly a commuter school serving people without a lot of time or money to spend on college or student activities - at least not around the school. Though their radio station used kick-a$$ (I can't get it where I currently live, so I can't say how it is now).

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: 222psm (---.br.br.cox.net)
Date: February 05, 2010 03:26PM

captain54 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yet, on the north side of Madison street its just
> the opposite. Old broken down neighborhoods or
> desolate old industrial areas are suddenly
> transformed into cool, hip areas, and eventually
> prime real estate markets. It doesn't make any
> sense.
>
> I'll give you one possible explanation, or theory
> for all of this...(and I'll get off of my soapbox
> in a minute)..
>
> It has to do with whether or not the city is
> politically and economically invested in an area.
> If it's not, then the hoodlums and gangbangers are
> left to tear down and destroy. If it is, then
> every effort is made to clean up the garbage.
>
> I'll give you a perfect example. Fulton Street
> Market district, from Ashland to Halsted, and from
> Lake Street to Fulton. 25 years or so ago, the
> streetwalkers had the run of the area, along with
> other undesirables. As soon as the city began to
> see that the area was in line to generate some
> major tax revenue with development, the
> streetwalkers and such were run out of there in a
> heartbeat.

I see your point, but I wonder; why did the city let this place get as bad as it is now? Why not save it back in the late 50's early 60's when most of the shops and business were still there bringing in tax revenue? Is it because by that time minorities were moving in and the city did not care? Was it racism? Makes you wonder does in it? If like you say; north of Madison St gets gentrification and Marquette Park's bungalows and two flats are being boarded up. (witch I assume you mean Chicago Lawn) Then it seems the city is ignoring the South side and putting all its efforts on the North side.

I hope your wrong about "I envision a time, twenty or so years from now, when those blocks will be flattened war zones, like the current 63rd and Loomis and Englewood neighborhoods." My cousins live north of Midway between 55th and Archer not to far from Marquette Park. Last time I was there in 2000 it was a peaceful, nice part of town. Being my first time in that part of Chicago I was pleasantly surprised.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2010 03:38PM by 222psm.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: 222psm (---.br.br.cox.net)
Date: February 05, 2010 03:44PM

That's a cool picture of the southtown, I wish I could have seen it in person before it was demolished.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: captain54 (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: February 05, 2010 06:45PM

222psm Wrote:
-
>
> I see your point, but I wonder; why did the city
> let this place get as bad as it is now? Why not
> save it back in the late 50's early 60's when most
> of the shops and business were still there
> bringing in tax revenue? Is it because by that
> time minorities were moving in and the city did
> not care? Was it racism?

The decline of Englewood really began as far back as the early 40's, when whites began moving further southwest. As time went by, the stockyards and railroad jobs drying up and the retailers moving out of the 63rd and Halsted district certainly didn't help.

Could the city have saved Englewood? If crime was a biggest issue for mass exodus out of Englewood, you could say that's something the city definitely had some control over. They tried to do the 1964 Englewood shopping district revamp by leveling a good deal of homes and building a concourse that shut off the district from traffic, which turned out to be a massive failure. Harold Washington had a few tricks up his sleeve in the 80's, but by then it was too late.

There is one interesting point to ponder: You could very well say Bridgeport could have fallen victim to the same issues that devasted Englewood: white flight, suburban shopping malls, loss of jobs in the city, etc. However, Bridgeport remains as solid as it was 60 years ago. Bridgeport survived the 40's, 50's and 60's..an era that devasted communities like Englewood.

I will note that Richard J Daley was born and raised in Bridgeport until he died in 76'. Coincidence?

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: 222psm (---.br.br.cox.net)
Date: February 05, 2010 09:13PM

Definitely not Coincidence, RJ Daley was NOT going to let his neighborhood go to the crapper. Back to Englewood; I still think that urban decay has no single cause; it results from combinations of inter-related socio-economic conditions. as you stated
People moving southwest, jobs drying up, stores closing, expressways and rail bypassing the area. Can Englewood come back? It would take a massive effort, but once you clean up an area, an other area gets neglected.

Unfortunately it's a problem not just in Chicago, but in every city in the US. I've been to Detroit, St Louis, New Orleans, Houston and a bunch of other city's to large to list. It's all the same, all have urban wastelands, I do not think theres any thing to avoid it.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: jak378 (---.dyn.embarqhsd.net)
Date: May 24, 2011 08:41PM

I just came across this. I must remind everyone that the whole area of Englewood was extremely hard hit by the riots of the 60's, especially those in 1968. I had occassion to drive around the area a little recently, and it looks like a war had take place there, which I guess is the case. Having grown up all over that area, it pains me to see it. It is expecially depressing to me to find that every place that I lived over the years is now a vacant lot, one of many, many vacant lots.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: jak378 (---.dyn.embarqhsd.net)
Date: May 25, 2011 12:23PM

I just came across this. I must remind everyone that the whole area of Englewood was extremely hard hit by the riots of the 60's, especially those in 1968. I had occassion to drive around the area a little recently, and it looks like a war had take place there, which I guess is the case. Having grown up all over that area, it pains me to see it. It is expecially depressing to me to find that every place that I lived over the years is now a vacant lot, one of many, many vacant lots.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: Richard Stachowski (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 26, 2011 08:58PM

[b]When the niehborhood changed so did everything else just like other parts of the city.[/b]

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: captain54 (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: May 29, 2011 03:51PM

Richard Stachowski Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> When the niehborhood changed so did everything
> else just like other parts of the city.

You don't see entirely blocks obliterated like this on the north side

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: captain54 (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: May 29, 2011 03:52PM

Richard Stachowski Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> When the niehborhood changed so did everything
> else just like other parts of the city.

You don't see entire blocks obliterated like this on the north side

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: Richard Stachowski (---.dsl.chcgil.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 29, 2011 11:46PM

[b]If you look at the city from historic aeriels you can see the areas that half or more of the homes are destroyed by neglect or fire. 63rd and halstead was like going downtown with all the shopping and many movie houses. In the 50's me and my buddies used to go there to find girls. Christmas was a great adventure for a child in englewood.[/b]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/29/2011 11:50PM by Richard Stachowski.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: tomcat630 (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: May 30, 2011 12:41AM

My theory is the old neighborhods with mostly multi-family 2-3 flats went under with slumlording and bad renters. My parents and grandparents generation wanted houses and not little apartments to raise kids. But the real estate industry also profited from 'blockbusting', scaring people to move, then selling for higher prices or being slumlords.

If Chicago was smart enough to annex land in the 40's, there'd be city workers living in 'the far NW side neighborhood of Schaumburg' or 'SW side of Palos'.

But, in old days there was 'white flight', now there is "black flight". Black people looking for better life are moving out of "hoods" to places like Atlanta region.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: CE Carter (---.dsl.mindspring.com)
Date: November 04, 2012 07:37AM

A prevailing characteristic of Chicago is responsible for its being called, "A city of neighborhoods." Having grown up in Chicago as an African American on 39th east of Cottage Grove near the lakefront during the 50s 60s and 70s, it was easy for me to see a reluctance of the races to mix. Most whites were concerned with property values and living comfortably and peacefully among their own. Most black people, myself included, felt pretty much the same way about living among other black people. Nobody I knew had a desire to be the only negro family in an all-white neighborhood. But as more and more non-white, low-income black residents moved into Englewood and other predominantly white neighborhoods, there was the typical "White Flight."

Keep in mind, between the 1930s and 1960s, most black Chicagoans were low-income because of limited job opportunities and/or because of the limited education many of these former residents of the south possessed. So, a vicious cycle of poverty was overtaking these migrants from the south.

The sanctity of Chicago's predominantly white neighborhoods was always a concern of the city government. As Chicago's black population increased, high-rise public housing "projects" were erected to accommodate and attempt to contain it. Most of this, on the south side, took place east of Englewood: from 22nd to 53rd, from State Street to Federal was the largest public housing project in America. When these projects were at full occupancy, there were as many people in this nearly 2-square mile area as there were in some of the state's rural counties.

Black poverty, hopelessness, black-on-black gang-related violence and crime, a lack of positive and constructive resources created by blacks or provided by the city, brought on a decline in the quality of life in Englewood and other predominately-black neighborhoods in Chicago. It is a hopelessness and despair that neither blacks nor whites want to live in the midst of.

When you look at old photos from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s of these southside residential areas, you see stores, businesses and industry. These were vibrant communities because the white residents owned these stores, businesses and industry. These white residents recognized the importance of properly educating themselves in order to sustain the economic foundation of their communities. As these whites left these neighborhoods, they took the stores, businesses and industry with them. Black people back then, and to some extent today, did not or could not establish businesses in these neighborhoods. As a result, these blacks did not create the employment base vital to the survival of their neighborhood. In my opinion, much of black unemployment, and the poverty it brings, can not be blamed entirely on white people.

The images of Englewood from the 1930s up to the 1960s, as opposed to today are a sad and stark contrast in opportunity taken advantage of, and opportunity lost and wasted.

As you travel around Chicago today through former predominately black neighborhoods, you see townhouses being built to replace dilapidated slums and public housing. A sad irony in all of this is, banks and realtors have invested more money towards this revitalization in the past 20 years than they did in the previous 40 years.

"Inner City" will one day no longer be a code word for "The black part of town." And Englewood is only a small part of this new reality.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: Richard Stachowski (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: November 16, 2012 11:32PM

[b]When Engelwood chaged racially it then turned into a slum. That simple.[b][/b][/b]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/16/2012 11:34PM by Richard Stachowski.

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Re: Englewood...63rd and Loomis...1948
Posted by: HOLTANEK (---.dsl.emhril.sbcglobal.net)
Date: December 15, 2012 12:40AM

ITS THE BY PRODUCT OF THEIR CULTURE AND WILL NEVER CHANGE AND WILL ONLY GET WORSE.

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