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Old 01-25-2012, 03:21 PM
 
1,748 posts, read 2,578,016 times
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Though I wasn't around then, I've heard stories about Lakeview in the 70s and 80s and how dicey it was north of Belmont. How did it transition from hookers, crack dealers and ghetto to students, yuppies, famlies and gays? Was there a huge anti crime campaign? Strong local leadership? Or was Lakeview never that wild to begin with?

 
Old 01-25-2012, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park/East Village area
2,474 posts, read 4,163,893 times
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No, you're right, it has changed, it was far worse when I started going to Cabaret Metro in 83. I think the economy in the 90's helped, people had more money, it's near the lake and has great public transit so developers started building nicer condos and rehabbing apt buildings in to condos.
 
Old 01-25-2012, 03:52 PM
 
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In the mid 80's, North Broadway was a blast. Especially between Diversey and Belmont. There were hookers up and down the sidewalks at night.

It was always pretty affluent on LSD and the eastern portion.

The gentrification had already started in the 80's and things were very improved even by 1990. The hookers were mostly gone and chic restaurants were opening on Broadway. During the 90's, as another poster mentioned, developers went nuts and housing prices went through the roof comparatively.
 
Old 01-25-2012, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Chicago, Tri-Taylor
5,014 posts, read 9,454,222 times
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My understanding from someone who lived there (near Wrigley) in the early 1980s was that pioneers (often gays who had been renting River North, Boystown or already expensive parts of Lakeview) and real estate speculators started purchasing rental properties in the area and rehabbing them.

They then rented to students and artist types, which was easy due to good public transit and good quality housing stock. That caused the business community (bars and restaurants) to grow, which in turn attracted more affluent renters, which in turn caused rents to increase, which in turn led to conversions into condos, which in turn led to tear downs and new construction to attract the premium dollars.

Of course, the resurgent popularity of the Cubs due to Harry Caray's arrival in 1982 and the playoff season in 1984 didn't hurt either. Cubs' attendance, and thus commerce in the neighborhood, exploded during this era.

I think the idea that any part of Lakeview was a crack infested ghetto is greatly (and I do mean greatly) exaggerated. It was basically a white working class neighborhood through most of its history, and I don't think it was ever less than 80% Caucasian at any point. By the time I got to Southport and Irving Park in 1994, it was clearly an upscale area with all the yuppie appurtenances -- Starbucks, Irish bars, fusion restaurants, indy theaters, live music clubs, the token "Streetwise" vendor, etc.

It certainly wasn't as affluent as it is now, but it wasn't the dangerous 'hood that people who lived there during those times like to say it was.
 
Old 01-25-2012, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Schaumburg, please don't hate me for it.
955 posts, read 1,831,138 times
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Lakeview was never "ghetto", nor was it ever a "dangerous" area. That whole premise is misconceived. If i wanted to describe old Lakeviews worst parts in a negative fashion, the word seedy would sum it up.

Sex and drugs were a central theme in that hood, and it had one of the liveliest straight bar scenes in the city. People from all over the north side poured in on week-ends and partied hard. There were fewer suburbanites and transplants back in those days(70s & 80s). The hookers and drag queens were prominent, but not dangerous or omnipresent.

Yes there was more crime, but few people ever considered Lakeview dangerous or slummy. Why the big difference in Lakeview today? Money, money, money, money, money, money and more money.
 
Old 01-25-2012, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park/East Village area
2,474 posts, read 4,163,893 times
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So there was more crime but it wasn't dangerous? Tell that to my female friend who was raped in an alley walking to a show at metro at 10pm on a Saturday night!
 
Old 01-25-2012, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park/East Village area
2,474 posts, read 4,163,893 times
Reputation: 1939
Early 80s that happened, and another friend, male, fled an attempted mugging around that time too, on Belmont and Clark.
 
Old 01-25-2012, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Schaumburg, please don't hate me for it.
955 posts, read 1,831,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwaiter View Post
So there was more crime but it wasn't dangerous? Tell that to my female friend who was raped in an alley walking to a show at metro at 10pm on a Saturday night!
Rape happens everywhere in Chicago, so I guess the whole city is dangerous then.
 
Old 01-25-2012, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park/East Village area
2,474 posts, read 4,163,893 times
Reputation: 1939
It is, all I'm saying is Lakeview was more dangerous in the 80s than it is now.
 
Old 01-25-2012, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Nort Seid
5,288 posts, read 8,875,838 times
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Dangerous means a lot of things to different people. And if ya ain't spelling it Lake View you are automatically disqualified from commenting on it- that's the post-gentrification re-branded Lakeview not the one dotted with factories, gypsies, appalachian hoodlums, Insane Unknowns, Latin Eagles, polish-irish blue collar types right out of A Streetcar Named Desire, the infamous tranny hookers of Belmont and Clark, the brief skinhead war between some nazi-styled thugs and local guys who shaved their heads and thew regularly threw each other through the Fleet's Inn window on Belmont. Seedy also works, but it was a seedy on the eastern edge that slowly got steeped in neighborhoods of people that still worked on their cars in the streets and fought for kicks when they got bored. Drive by shootings? Nope. Crazy drunk bastards shooting out their own windows out of depression and ignorance? Yep. Predators in general flocking to Clark St? Yep. Gay bashing bigot thugs from lord knows where? Yep. Drunken sports/concert goers fighting either one on one or in massive gang-sized brawls? Oh, you better believe it.
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