Burnham Park: It's Not a Neighborhood, It's a State of Mind | Letters | Chicago Reader

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Burnham Park: It's Not a Neighborhood, It's a State of Mind

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To the editors:

I must rise to the defense of my friend Dennis McClendon, unjustly maligned in these columns recently by Barbara Lynne of the Burnham Park Planning Board [Letters, March 4]. Ms. Lynne feels Dennis is a deluded soul who is conducting some sort of nutty campaign to convince the world that the neighborhood she calls Burnham Park is really called the South Loop.

In fact it is Ms. Lynne who is deluded. I have been a property owner in the South Loop since 1981. Neither my wife nor I has ever once heard our community referred to as Burnham Park in conversation. The name was dreamed up and unilaterally imposed on the neighborhood by Ms. Lynne's predecessors at the Burnham Park Planning Board, a group of developers and business people who think "South Loop" is too downscale. Absolutely no one uses it except for the planning board members and their friends and the occasional newspaper editor whom they are able to sucker with their propaganda.

I could rehearse the usual arguments about what a dumb name Burnham Park is: that it disguises one of the neighborhood's main advantages, namely its proximity to the Loop, and that the real Burnham Park (the one with trees) is many blocks away. But never mind that. The indisputable fact is if you get into a cab and ask to be taken to Burnham Park you'll get a blank stare at best and at worst you'll wind up in Calumet City. Barbara Lynne and her colleagues are living in a dream world. Face reality, cupcake.

Ed Zotti

S. Plymouth

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