Congratulations to Ben Joravsky for his strong and informative investigative report on the historic (1925) Uptown Theater ["Swimming With Sharks," August 2]. The story and the photographs were excellent reading and viewing--clearly depicting the history and glamour of one of Chicago's finest architectural delights.
However, the report totally missed one aspect of the historic theater's evolution: the surrounding community of residents and homeowners! Several organizations have spent countless hours, monies, and effort during various times in order to develop the area enveloping the 71-year-old Uptown Theater. Our 41-year-old organization has testified before the city's capital budget expenditure hearing, has led tours and fund-raisers in the acoustically magnificent theater, and has worked with all elected officials in trying to stimulate the immediate economic environment to get the right developer with the right marketing plan for the theater. In fact, the Uptown Chamber coordinated a $1.5 million SNAP grant to rebuild the streets, lights, and other infrastructure in the area.
Now everything appears to be coalescing for the gem of the north side. On Tuesday, August 13, the National Trust for Historic Preservation will be detailing what their upcoming Autumn Conference and Trade Show will mean for the midwest and specifically the Uptown community. We are sponsoring that meeting, which is open to the public.
Your readers should be advised that the community buzzing around the theater is alive and well--and working diligently to keep the uniqueness of the theater in a safe, clean, and economically viable neighborhood.
Michael D. Pavilon
Vice-president and Historic
Preservation Committee Chairman
Uptown Chicago Commission