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Cornerspotted: A Monumental, Then Neglected Aldine Square

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Yippie!! Most of this week's CornerSpotter commenters guesses correctly: this is most definitely the long-gone Aldine Square along Vincennes b/w 37th and 38th. One reader even threw in some great trivia: that Jelly Roll Morton used to call it home. WBEZ's Lee Bey put together a serviceable snapshot of the micro-neighborhood back in June. Built entirely in 1874, the square had 42 fashionable brick and limestone townhomes surrounding a lush rolling green and small pond. It's not the kind of arrangement you see much anymore, except now-and-then when a subdivision delivers a cheap knock-off. Shortly after construction, The Tribune declared Aldine Square "the most charming of all the beautiful places of residence in the city".

That sentiment was mostly forgotten 40 years later when affluent white residents fled this and many other neighborhoods at the start of the Great Migration. It only took another 15 years or so for the downtrodden homes to meet their maker— the city took 'em down in 1938 to make way for the much, much larger Ida B. Wells public housing development. With Ida B. now demolished, and townhouses and low-rises working their way onto the site, it may almost come full circle albeit with serious consequences to community and aesthetics.
·Hint: 'Substandard' Replaced by More 'Substandard' on the South Side [Curbed Chicago]
·A gaslight Eden: The forgotten South Side neighborhood of Aldine Square [WBEZ]
·CornerSpotter [Curbed Chicago]