August 26, 2009

Before The Blight NOH

From a comment made on the Triangle Park Cultural Fest post says more than enough.

Fargo said...

Back in the 70s, there were some decent restaurants on Paulina NOH and on Howard nearby. The street drew more of a mix of people. Believe it or not, people came from Evanston to shop and eat there. People went to the bowling alley and next door Chinese restaurant where the Howard entrance to the mall is now. There was a good Mexican place on Paulina that appealed to a wide range of customers.

When the large concentration of low-income housing landed NOH in the 80s, conditions became less welcoming for the previously healthy businesses and their customers. Many of those spaces went vacant and were later changed to other uses, or to restaurants offering cheaper, greasier stuff.


Fargo said...

Remembering how it was back then, it's been sad to watch the decline. The changes of recent years have been a mixed bag. The continuation of such a large concentration of low income housing will continue to drag the area down.

I hope that economic diversity will eventually be reintroduced throughout NOH, that businesses can be established on Howard to serve a variety of income levels, and that some sense of balance can return. Could this happen in my lifetime? I'll wait and see.

Jillian said...

I remember Alexander's, a nice coffee shop on the corner of Rogers and Howard. The Chinese place was great. On the way home from the el, I often stood in front of the violin store and watched the guy in the window repair violins. There were a lot of decent places to shop and eat on Howard in the 1980s. Now, despite what the Rogers Park Business Alliance and Joe Moore will have you believe, Howard Street looks like a bomb went off on it. The emperor is naked as a jaybird.